Accra Mayor assures Makola fire victims of support
Metropolitan Chief Executive of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, says government will investigate the cause of the fire incident at Makola on Monday morning and reach out to the victims.
The MCE who visited the fire scene to assess the situation said it was unfortunate that another fire outbreak was experienced in the central business district, but assured of government’s support.
The fire, which started around 7:30am on Monday was brought under control after about five hours.
Firefighters had to be moving to Alajo, Ministries, and Nkrumah Circle to refill their fire tenders to control the inferno, which razed two floors of a four storey building trading centre.
The Mayor noted that the major challenge to the firefighting exercise was low pressure hydrants in the business district and said, “Moving forward, we have to work closely with the Ghana Water Company to look closely into the water pressure but alternatively we are thinking of looking at a bore hole in some of these strategic areas to see if they can help in getting enough water to fight fire within the central business district.”
Mr Sowah said the population and trading activities made the place a high risk area, needing constant attention.
Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo Constituency, Nii Lantey Vanderpuiye, commended the GNFS for saving parts of the building and other shops around.
He said after dousing the fire, a structural integrity assessment would be done for the building to know if it was fit for occupancy.
Earlier, a Fire Officer who sought anonymity told the GNA that congested access was hindering firefighting activities.
The source said dozens of firemen had a hard time extinguishing the fire and only managed to control it after five hours of fighting, with the main challenge being congested access.
The GNA gathered that 10 fire tenders, including; one from the Military, were used in controlling the inferno.
Divisional Officer II, Ellis Robinson Okoe, the Head of Public Relations, GNFS, told the media that it was difficult for personnel of the Service to save two floors of the storey building.
He said the GNFS had a distress call at 0900 hours and arrived at the scene within 10 minutes but had difficulty accessing the place.
The PRO also noted that all fire hydrants at the Makola Market did not have the needed pressure for, which reason they had to go to Alajo, Nkrumah Circle, and the Ministries to refill their water tanks.
He observed that though many shops at the Market had fire extinguishers, the shop owners could not use them when the fire started because they did not know how to operate the extinguishers.
“…But at the moment, we have been able to bring the fire under control and we are going to break the containers to ensure pockets of fire are completely doused,” he stated and asked traders and shop owners to be patient.
The incident affected trading activities at the Central Business District with many shops closed.
Some traders blamed the Fire Service for allowing the fire “to get out of hand before acting.”
Madam Cecilia, a trader, said the fire started around 0730 hours and claimed they called Fire Service but they allegedly underestimated it.
The police were called in early to cordon off the area for safety and effective firefighting.