On Monday, an angry mob, mostly young people, attacked men from the Anambra State Fire Service and destroyed their vehicles as they drove to the scene of the fire at Uga Junction, along Atani Road, near Onitsha.
The firefighters sustained injuries as their truck’s windshields and side windows were smashed.
It was learned that the angry youths, who accused the firefighters of arriving late at the scene, attacked them with stones, sticks and others while the fire raged.
Confirming the incident, the state fire chief, Mr. Martin Agbili, described it as unfortunate and insisted that the perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted.
Agbili said that although no lives were lost; His men narrowly escaped the mob attack, adding that it was the wrong way to start the New Year.
He said: “I want to show my deepest dismay at this ugly treatment received at the Anambra State Fire Service on 1st January 2023, at Uga Junction off Atani Road, Onitsha. It was a massive mob attack on our fire truck and our firefighters.
“On Sunday 1st January 2023, at around 1800 hours, the Anambra State Fire Service received a distress call for a fire incident at the Uga Junction of Atani Road.
“Immediately our fire truck and freighters deployed to the scene. Arriving at the place of the fire, the mob attacked us. They threw stones, sticks and irons at us.
“Unfortunately, they broke our fire trucks’ windshields and side windows and also injured some firefighters.
“When they started throwing rocks at the fire truck while the fire was still going, what we could hear was, ‘Is it now that you guys are coming to fight the fire?’
“As the throwing of stones, sticks and irons increased, we managed to escape the attack of the crowd with our windshield smashed and some firefighters injured.
“This New Year’s gift is unfortunate, that our firefighters are being welcomed into the New Year with this barbaric act. The perpetrators of this ugly act will surely be brought to justice.”