Uyo, Jan. 5, 2017 (NAN) Fire on Wednesday night gutted the depot of the Nigerian Bottling Company office on Abak Road, Uyo.
Eyewitnesses told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday that goods worth millions of Naira were lost in the inferno.
One of the eyewitnesses, Mr Ekong Charles, told NAN that the fire started from where the pallets were packed and engulfed the entire packing zone.
Charles said that it was the quick intervention of firefighters from the state Fire Service that prevented the fire from 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.
“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,” Charles said.
The Chief Fire Officer in Akwa Ibom, Mr Ndarake Ukpe, told NAN that he had to mobilise firemen from Ikot Ekpene, Abak and Akpan Andem to put out the fire.
Ukpe said the cause of the fire was yet unknown, and appealed to residents to be careful in handling inflammable materials during this harmattan period.
He also confirmed that no life was lost to the inferno as the place was taken care of by security personnel.
“Fire does not just happen, it is cause 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,” Ukpe said.
He urged members of the public to report fire outbreak promptly instead of waiting until the damage was done before calling on the fire service.
The Uyo depot manager, Mr Benjamin Uche, told NAN that the cause of the fire was yet unknown.
Uche said that he was yet to quantify what the company had lost to the inferno.
“I have to take stock to know what we have lost in this incident, ” Uche said.
On Christmas day, the home of the Commissioner for Works, Mr Ephraim Inyang-eyen, was gutted by fire. (NAN)