Some traders in the central business district of Accra, Makola, whose products were destroyed in Monday’s fire outbreak, are accusing the Ghana National Fire Service of negligence.
According to them, the situation would not have worsened if the Service had been timely and responsible enough.
“The Ghana National Fire Service has an office a stone throw away, so we called them immediately and the fire started. They got here only to tell us that they have no water to quench the fire.”
“One of the firemen snapped at one woman who kept asking how the fire would be quenched. What sort of country is this? Our safety is not guaranteed,” a frustrated trader said.
“I was there when the fire started. I rushed to the fire station only to be told that they are not working. I enquired and I was told it is because there is no water. I then asked the fireman to follow me to the place and help us to use the fire extinguisher since most of us do not know about it.”
“I was shocked to hear his response. He told me that it is not his job to teach us that. Three of their cars subsequently came in and they had no water. We stood helplessly watching our priced possessions burn,” another trader lamented.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service, Ellis Robinson Okoe, in a Citi News interview denied claims that the Service has not been proactive.
“We have about 9 fire tenders here. Our main challenge was how to access the building. If the shops were opened, it would have helped us.”
“We received the call at 10 past 9 and we were there within minutes.”
Responding to the accusations made by the traders, Mr Robinson Okoe said, “I am not aware of that, but we are expecting to know what exactly happened after the investigations, probably they did not know how to operate them [fire extinguishers].”
“We will know if we are to train them on how to use the extinguishers after the investigations.”
Fire guts 3-storey building at Makola
Fire gutted a three-storey building at Makola on Monday, July 6, 2021.
The building hosted shops occupied by traders who deal in hair and cosmetic products.
The fire, according to eyewitnesses, began around 9.00 am on Monday, July 5, 2021, in one of the shops, and started spreading to others.
This comes a few days after a fire gutted parts of the CMB police station in Accra.
That fire, which started at about noon on Friday, July 2, 2021, destroyed office spaces, washrooms, and other parts of the facility.
Cell inmates at the police station were subsequently transported to other police stations.