Scores of homes went up in flames Thursday, October 4, 2018 night, following an explosion at the Cameroon Petroleum Depot popularly known as SCDP situated at the Novelle Route Bessengue neighbourhood, Douala, Littoral Region.
At least one person is reported to have died following the inferno. Many others are known to have sustained injuries in an attempt to escape the ravaging flames of the fire.
Some inhabitants of the neighbourhood were already asleep when the incident struck. Some got up from sleep and were confused in the terror of the fire from the flames.
An inhabitant of the said neighbourhood told reporters that, they only heard an explosion at night from within the petroleum depot. They said shortly after the explosion, flames swept across homes in quick succession creating general panic.
Administrative authorities responded, ordering firefighting detachments from across Douala to battle the flames. Despite such moves, the fire consumed a good number of homes before the flames subsided.
The cause of the fire incident remains unknown. But the timing of the incident many say accentuates fear as Cameroon prepares to vote its next President in a context of rising insecurity.
Just last week, gunfire erupted at Sawa Hotel in the same city owing to rumours that Anglophone separatists had invaded the international hotel. Yet it turns out to be a confusion between security officers assigned to protect the controversial Buea Mayor, Ekema Patrick Esunge and other elements on duty.
Days after, Ekema returned to his municipality accusing top CPDM militants of the South West Region of planning to assassinate him through that incident.