House on the Rock, Abuja Chapter guts fire

The House on the Rock church on James Wolfesen Drive, Airport Road, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja was gutted by fire on Sunday, according to reports things destroyed by the fire was worth millions of naira.

According to eye witness reports,the fire, which was said to have started from a power plant, occurred at about 2pm, after the Sunday service had been concluded.

The fire, which engulfed the church premises, located behind the Nigerian Basketball Federation Stadium, could be observed from the neighbouring Garki, Jabi and Gwarinpa areas, which are at least 10 kilometres away.

Despite the rainfall in the area, the fire continued for about an hour as firefighters from the Federal Fire Service and other agencies came to the scene to salvage the situation.

When our correspondent approached the premises, it was noted that security operatives had cordoned off the burning section, as motorists gathered at the roadside.

A witness and church member, who gave his name only as Emmanuel, said the fire started from the plant beside the church, adding that had the firefighters arrived on time, the fire would not have escalated.

He noted that the church buildings had just been renovated and recently inaugurated.

He said, “It was around 1pm that the service ended and everyone went home. The next shocking news we heard was that there is a fire incident in our church.”

The Police Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit said seven fire trucks had been deployed in the scene to put out the fire.

The PPCRRU Head, ACP Abayomi Shogunle, said on Twitter on Sunday that motorists should be careful along the road.

 “House on the Rock is on fire. Seven fire trucks are at the scene. Caution is needed if you are driving towards the airport. The cause is unknown,” he tweeted.

The spokesperson for Federal Fire Service, Collins Elechi, said, “Our operatives responded to a distress call from the church. I am in touch with the control room. We cannot ascertain the cause of the fire for now, but we are taking care of the situation.”

The church had yet to make an official statement over the incident as of press time.

Source: ( Punch Newspaper )