Parts of the Guinness Nigeria Plc, Aba Brewery, Abia State, were on Friday engulfed by a wild fire, razing bottles, chemicals, office structures and furniture to ashes. Fire fighters battled hard to contain the fire, which started at about 11 a.m. on Friday until about 6:46 pm.
Okezie Uche, Aba Fire Service Commander, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that his men reached the site at about 1 p.m. and fought hard to extinguish the fire with the help of other staff of near-by companies who volunteered. “We have water challenges but today, we refilled from the NNPC. When the fire seems to be out of control, I called the Controller of Abia Fire Service, V.O Gbaruko in Umuahia office for backup and he sent men and more equipment.
“We used techniques with the support of NNPC that gave us a foaming chemical which helped to extinguish the fire. “Without that chemical, we cannot do much because we are fighting a highly flammable material,” he said. Uche said the materials at the brewery included empty bottles, plastic crates and others.
He said that “poor house-keeping” might have been responsible for the fire, stressing that when the staff could not contain the fire, they called the fire Service. A Police Officer who preferred anonymity, told NAN the police got information on the fire at about 12 noon and called in the Fire servicemen in Aba.
“They came, the Commander of MOPOL 55 also sent his men; the villagers also assisted in fighting the fire but it has not been easy as efforts were slowed because there was no power from EEDC to pump water.