Mr. Cosmas Maduka
An early morning fire Thursday gutted the Lagos office and warehouse of automobile giant, Coscharis Nigeria Limited, owned by business mogul, Mr. Cosmas Maduka, at Kirikiri Industrial Estate, Lagos, razing goods worth billions of naira. No life was however lost in the incident.
It was gathered that investigators are currently battling to uncover the likely cause of the fire, which started from an electrical spark that later evolved into balls of fire.
They also disclosed that since the gutted warehouse was undergoing renovations after the sachet water division was moved to the Alakija area, the new electrical connection in the building might have caused the inferno.
THISDAY gathered that the fire started at about 4am and went unnoticed until about an hour later. Fire fighters from the Lagos State Fire Service and the Nigerian Navy were later contacted and they battled for over five hours to put out the fire.
However, the flames were exacerbated by the contents of the warehouse, which was fully stocked with goods such as tyres, spare parts, gas cylinders, computers, fuel, grease oil, spray paints, inverter batteries, lubricants, grease and additives, all said to be valued at billions of naira.
THISDAY also gathered that the absence of fire hydrant and enough water also proved a hindrance to rescue operators in battling the flames.
To prevent hoodlums from pilfering and vandalising some of the goods recovered from the fire, armed police officers were deployed from the Kirikiri Police Station to safeguard the property and the premises of the company.
Some of the workers said they could not recover many of the products because some storerooms in the warehouse were locked up and so they had to wait for the fire service.
They lamented the company lost billion naira worth of goods, having just restocked on Wednesday, adding that over four containers of deep cycle inverter batteries were offloaded in the warehouse.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Lagos State, Mr. Paschal Ologungboye, said they received a distress call at 6am and operators from the Sari Iganmu, Ijora and Isolo fire stations were deployed to put out the fire.
He lamented that despite the number of fire trucks from different stations, including their headquarters, the lack of water within the premises hampered efforts to minimise the damage.