By Nicholas Bass
Nasser Foam, a manufacturing company owned by a Gambian Lebanese, in the early hours of Tuesday night lost valuable goods worth millions of dalasi in an inferno occurred at the company, near Denton Bridge along the Serrekunda-Banjul Highway.
Pateh Gibba, Divisional Fire Officer who doubles as the Public Relations Officer of the Gambia Fire Rescue Service said that his office received a distress telephone call from the Nasser Factory regarding the fire outbreak which led to an urgent deployment of firefighters into the area but his officers were unable to combat the fire outbreak.
”My officers called Bakau and Kotu Fire Rescue Service for reinforcement to the scene but they were lacking hydrants within the vicinity which was difficult for the firefighters to put off the fire,” he said.
The firefighters were also considering protecting the Salam Cement factory together with a fuel filling station which is beside the factory to reduce the damage. He said he was informed by the firefighters that raw materials, storage tanks, fuel, foam, carpets, heavy clothes, motorbikes, tricycles, lubricants, tires, and spare tires were stored at the factory before the fire outbreak.
He urged all the factory owners to create ventilation to avoid fire outbreaks and he pleaded with them to have high-pressure fire hydrants.
The Public Relations Officer stressed that the National Fire Rescue Service is lacking equipment in tackling major disasters, and, therefore, called on philanthropies, NGOs, and individuals to support them with equipment to save lives in the country.
Rohey Ceesay, an eyewitness of the incident noted that the fire outbreak will render hundreds of employees of the factory jobless.
”Nasser foam and Industry is one of the main suppliers of goods sold in the Gambian market,” she stated.
Joseph Gaye, a friend of Nasser, lamented that it was a sad incident, noting that the factory has served the needs of the Gambian population consistently adding that he is sad about the fire outbreak that has burnt his friend’s factory into ashes.