It was sad news for the family of Mercy Elom, a 20-year-old lady who lost her life when fire gutted a 68-room house located at 40, Igwe Liga Street, Mile 50, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
The poor lady from Onuenyim Agbaja in Izzi local government area of the state, was said to be squatting with her friend while sitting for this year's Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), examination conducted in Abakaliki, the state capital.
The mysterious fire, which started about 1:30 am when the occupants of the house were fast asleep, razed razed down the whole structure, destroying items including motorcycles, tricycles, staff and students’ documents, refrigerators of different kinds, electronics, household utensils, among others.
A victim and the landlord's son, Elias Igwe, said he was sleeping when he was awoken by noise from residents:
"People were shouting fire! fire! This woke me up. I came downstairs and saw everywhere engulfed by fire.
We tried to put off the fire but we were helpless. I rushed to the State Fire Service and contacted them with the help of the Divisional Police Officer."