THE Director of the Kaduna State Fire Service, Mr. Paul Aboi, said no fewer than 76 persons lost their lives to 615 fire incidents in the state in 2020.

Of the 615 incidents, the director said 139 persons were injured while 85 were rescued by the men of the service.

This was just as he added that the Kaduna lost N2.5bn to the various fire outbreaks in the state while N5bn properties were saved by the service.

Aboi said the 615 fire incidents in 2020 were higher than that of 2019, which he said, stood at 523, attributing the increase to the negligence of residents.

He advised residents to always be vigilant and to immediately call fire service in the event of fire outbreak for swift response.

Aboi, who stated this in Kaduna on Tuesday, attributed the delay in response to fire outbreaks by his men to distance.

He also urged the government to recruit more personnel to strengthen the manpower needs of the service.

This, he said, would enable the service to replace retired staff with new ones, saying that the 74 employees across the state were inadequate.

“I have 74 staff across the state and will need more to meet up to the challenges in the years. Distance is a challenge as some roads are not friendly and fire will not wait till the firemen get there.

“When there is fire, we want the people to call us in good time and motorists should give way for our fire engines to get to those emergencies in good time,” he added.