By Aplefe Ojong
A communication mast belonging to the Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) Nigeria, located along Ikot Nsisuk, Off Akai Effa Road by MCC, Calabar was on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 burnt down by a raging inferno.
CrossRiverWatch reliably gathered at the scene of the incident that the fire which started at about 9:20 am was said to have been ignited as a result of heat that penetrated the diesel reservoir of the 250KVA power generating set supplying power to the mast.
We also discovered at the scene of the inferno that apart from the fact that the fire completely destroyed the generating plant, other vital and valuable components of the giant mast were equally reduced to mere carcasses by the ravaging inferno by the time officers and men of the Cross River Fire Service arrived the scene of the incident.
CrossRiverWatch equally gathered that the fire fighters got to the scene about 25 minutes after the incident and spent additional 55 minutes before they could bring the fire under control.
The security guard in charge of the facility, Mr Joe Sunday, told CrossRiverWatch that “When the fire started, I called my people at MTN immediately. I also called the Fire Service when I discovered that fire had entered the place from the generator but the Fire Service people got here at about 25 minutes later and tried to put off the fire but could not because one of the water tankers malfunctioned.”
Sunday, further explained that the fire men succeeded to put the inferno under control at about 10:40 am after calling for reinforcement, adding that “the generator is completely damaged including other components in this facility but thanked God that the fire didn’t spread to other building and that no lives were lost in the incident.”
A member of the Technical team from the company who would not want his name mentioned told CrossRiverWatch at the scene of the inferno that the cables in the mast will be completely overhauled.
“The damage will not affect our services neither will it hinder service reception in any way. We will certainly fix the problem without any delay, so the people can be rest assured that there is no cause for alarm” the technician assured.
Speaking with CrossRiverWatch after the incident, the Assistant Chief Superintendent, Cross River Fire Service, Albert Egbe, disclosed that the fire was caused by a possible heat from the generator as a result of the diesel reservoir nearby.
Hear him: “Any Fire caused by diesel can be very difficult to subdue because of the intensity when its burning. The first truck we brought in was too small so we had to bring in more trucks to be able to eliminate the fire but we really thank God that the fire didn’t spread to residential buildings in the area” Egbe stated.
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