Catholic Priest Dies in Anambra Fire Outbreak


David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

A 60-year-old Catholic priest, Rev. Edmond Nwagbal was burnt beyond recognition when
fire yesterday completely razed down St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, a parish located at Nnewi Ichi, Nnewi North Local Government Area Anambra State.

Eyewitness said the fire outbreak occurred at about 4:00 a.m.

The State Police Command confirmed the disaster in a statement noting that a resident priest, who was living in the parish house, lost his life.

The statement, which was signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Haruna Mohammed, said the cause of the fire outbreak was yet to be ascertained.

The statement read in part: “On November 16, at about 04:00 a.m., there was a fire outbreak at St. Peter Claver Catholic Parish Nnewi Ichi, Nnewi North LGA of Anambra State.

“The inferno, which cause is yet to be ascertained, affected part of the church’s residential building. As a result the parish priest one Rev Edmond Nwagbala ‘m’ aged about 60 years was burnt beyond recognition inside his room at same premises.

“Police patrol teams attached to Otolo Division led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) visited the scene. The Fire Service Department was equally alerted. And they responded promptly and put off the fire before it escalates.

“Meanwhile, the victim was rushed to the hospital for medical attention but certified dead on arrival by the medical doctor and corpse deposited at the mortuary for post-mortem examination,” the statement said.

Mohammed, a Superintendent of Police, said the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Abang had ordered a discreet investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.