By Chimaobi Nwaiwu—NNEWI
Residents of Nnewi, the industrial town of Anambra State, were thrown into panic on Saturday as a midnight fire razed the multi-million naira factory of Louis Carter Industries Nigeria Limited, at Akaboukwu Uruagu Nnewi, producers of motorcycle spare parts and allied products.
A source said the fire outbreak started at about 10p.m. and raged for six hours despite the intervention of men of the fire service, who arrived one hour and thirty minutes after the fire had started.
General Manager of the company, Mr. Ndubisi Okoli, said the company’s security men alerted him to the fire, adding that they told him the fire was beyond fire extinguishers.
He said the alarm prompted him to dial the emergency number 112, which saw the arrival of the firefighters.
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.
No life was lost, according to him, but raw materials and machines worth over N500 million were destroyed as the building was completely razed to rubbles.
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 and the hundreds of workers of the section that got burnt.
Onwugbenu acknowledged the effort of Chief Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman of the Innoson Group and member representing Nnewi North in Anambra State House of Assembly, Nonso Smart, who he said were physically present to motivate the firefighters.
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 jobs because of the fire outbreak.
He, however, 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 to the company from the major highway, it would ease up his burden on the great loss.
Below are more pictures of the razed Nnewi spare parts factory.