by Rachel Ogbu
Goods probably worth billions of naira were destroyed by the fire that reportedly engulfed the warehouse of Coscharis Nigeria Limited in Lagos yesterday.
YNaija reported that the started at about 4.00 am at warehouse located at the Kirikiri and had spread by the time firefighters from the Lagos State Fire Service and the Nigerian Navy arrived the scene.
According to reports, computer equipment, petrochemical products, vehicles, inverter batteries, auto spare parts, motorcycles and tyres, stored in the warehouse, were just a few of the properties destroyed.
The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained as at press time.
Speaking on the situation, the company’s Financial Controller, Godwin Umaka, said the company did all it could to prevent the fire from escalating.
“We had enough fire extinguishers in the warehouse that would have been used to quench the fire when it started, but the problem was that the fire started at night when most of our employees were not at work. It is too early to give the exact value of the property destroyed and what we are trying to do now is to put out the fire,” Umaka said.
The Punch reports:
Some of the workers told PUNCH Metro on the condition of anonymity, attributed it to electrical spark. The burnt warehouse owned by business mogul, Cosmas Maduka, was said to have been undergoing renovations after one of its divisions was moved to another area of Lagos.
The source said, “The warehouse has been undergoing some renovations so we are not ruling out electrical spark as the cause of the inferno. “The section where the goods were kept was locked, so it was not possible to salvage any goods. We just had to wait for the fire service officials to come.
“What we have lost today runs into billions of naira. You know we just restocked the warehouse on Wednesday; over four containers of deep cycle inverter batteries were offloaded into that warehouse.”
An employee of the company, who spoke on condition of anonymity, lamented that the fire would have been curtailed if there were enough fire extinguishers or hydrants in the warehouse at the time the fire started.
He said, “The fire started from an office inside the warehouse around 4am and that office was locked at the time. We tried putting off the fire with few fire extinguishers we could lay our hands on, but they were not enough.
“There was no fire hydrant or fire engine in the warehouse that would have enabled us prevent the fire from spreading to other parts. Before we knew what was happening, the whole place was in flames.”
The fire lasted for six hours before it was eventually brought under control. Armed policemen deployed from Kirikiri Police Division were seen guarding the premises to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the incident to loot.
The Lagos State Fire Service Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Paschal Ologungboye, who confirmed the incident to PUNCH Metro, said the service received a distress call at 6am.
He added “Fire fighters from the Sari Iganmu, Ijora and Isolo fire stations were deployed to the scene of the fire incident.
“Despite the number of fire trucks from different stations including our headquarters, the challenge was the lack of water within the premises.”