The Uyo depot of the Nigerian Bottling Company, makers of Coca-Cola, was on Wednesday gutted by fire with goods worth millions of Naira destroyed. Eyewitnesses report that but for the quick intervention of firefighters from the state Fire Service, the inferno, which started from where the pallets were packed and engulfed the entire packing zone, was already spreading to the office complex.
“The fire started from where the pallets are packed and the fire service was quickly alerted to control the spread to other buildings,” an eyewitness, Ekong Charles, said.“In fact, it was so serious; if not for the quick intervention of the firefighters it would have consumed the entire depot. Five trucks of firefighting vehicles were brought to put out the fire”
According to the Chief Fire Officer in Akwa Ibom, Ndarake Ukpe, he had to mobilise firemen from Ikot Ekpene, Abak and Akpan Andem to put out the fire. Ukpe, who said the cause of the fire was yet unknown, appealed to residents to be careful in handling inflammable materials during this harmattan period.
“Fire does not just happen, it is caused by carelessness and fake electrical installations in our buildings. We have organised seminars for people in the markets and advised them to stop storing fuel in their houses. We are committed to ensuring that our department response to fire calls within record time so that minimal lost is recorded.”