From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
A midnight fire at the weekend razed a multimillionaire factory of Louis Carter Industries Nigeria Limited, producers of motorcycle spare parts and allied products at Akaboukwu Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra State.
The fire outbreak, which a company source said started by 10:00 pm, raged for six hours despite the intervention of the men of the fire service who were said to have arrived one hour and thirty minutes after the fire had started.
Commenting on the incident, the General Manager of the company, Mr Ndubisi Okoli, said the company’s security men alerted him and informed him that the magnitude of the fire could not be put out with fire extinguishers at the factory which he said prompted him to dial emergency number 112 with a response that saw the arrival of the firefighters.
Mr Okoli alleged that the fire was caused by Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC)’s high tension cable that exploded and sparked off the fire to the section of the factory which he said destroyed raw materials and crushing machines worth over N500million as the building was completely razed, though no life was lost.
In his reaction, the owner of the factory and Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Louis Carter Group of Companies, Chief Louis Onwugbenu, said the fire incident had caused a huge loss to the company that had hundreds of workers at the section that got burnt in its employ.
Onwugbenu acknowledged the effort of Chief Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman of the Innoson Group and member representing Nnewi North in Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Nonso Smart who he said was physically present to motivate the fight against the fire.
Chief Onwugbenu said it would cause him a huge amount of money to rebuild the factory, adding that he was uncomfortable about the number of workers that had been thrown out of job because of the fire outbreak.
He appealed to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State to come to the aid of the company. He said that if the Governor could reconstruct an access road that leads to the company from the major highway, that it would ease up his burden ‘in this great loss.’