A fire outbreak that engulfed Assumpta Cathedral of Owerri Metropolitan Catholic Archdiocese Imo State on Monday destroyed musical equipment, clothes and some holy items at the sanctuary section of the cathedral.
The fire is said to have started at midnight and would have wreaked much havoc but for the quick intervention of firemen.
Our correspondent saw parishioners, priests and journalists trooping in to have a glimpse of the extent of destruction caused by the inferno at about 9:00am when he visit the Cathedral located at Control Post junction.
Our correspondent also observed smoke smoulding from the affected sanctuary section of the edifice.
A parishioner who spoke to our correspondent expressed gratitude to God that the altar was not affected.
Items lost in the fires were estimated to be in millions of Naira.
A parishioner said, “The incident happened at the midnight. It is here the sanctuary department that was affected. Thank God it didn’t spread to the other parts of the cathedral. I don’t know what we would have done.
“This is coming at a time a new Archbishop for the Archdiocese will be installed on June 23. I don’t know what we would have done. Glory be to God the damage is minimal”.
He was also effusive in his thanks to the fire fighters who responded promptly after being contacted and put out the fire.
The Director of Communications for the Archdiocese, Rev Fr Raymond Nzeremeogu also thanked God for the quick response of the firemen.
He said, “Glory be to God the fire was put out very early. It didn’t spread to the other parts of the cathedral. Fire fighters were contacted and they came. Clothes, musical equipment like, amplifiers, audio speakers, microphones and others were affected.”
When contacted, Fr. Chinedu Nwanekwu attributed the fire to an electrical fault around the Sacristy.
He also expressed gratitude to God that the fire was stopped from spreading.
Fr. Nwanekwu said, “It was just an electrical fault around the sacristy. It didn’t enter into the main cathedral. But it was extinguished last night around 11pm”.