Port Harcourt - No fewer than 223 people were killed in various fire incidents in Rivers between January and November 2012.
The state Director of Fire Service, Mr Oshogharhe Powa, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Monday.
Powa said that 84 persons were rescued from the fire disasters, while it saved property worth N17.37 billion during the period in review.
He, however, said that property worth N1.26 billion were lost in the incidents, adding that Port Harcourt city and Obiakpo Local Government Area top list of places with high fire outbreaks.
According to him, the fire occur more in residential buildings, especially houses built with woods and zinc, from electrical spark caused by illegal connection.
"Some residents also caused the fire by refilling kerosene in their cooking stove and lanterns while they were on and some used candle light without holding it with the right stand," he said.
Powa urged the people to be fire-safety conscious, advising that they should always adhere to fire-safety rules.
He observed that industries and companies in the state were always safety-conscious and had always engaged the service on time to fight any outbreak.
Powa also urged members of the public to always call the service on time to avoid loss of life and property.