Ashanti Region records four fire outbreaks in three days
The Ashanti Region has begun 2021 on a bad note with four fire outbreaks in a spate of three days.
It would be one of the worst records in the region in recent times with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Aboabo, Dagomba Line and Suame Magazine reporting devastating fires less than two weeks into the new year.
The most recent was Suame Magazine, where an outbreak was reported at about 7 am on Tuesday, January 12, 2020.
A huge smoke was seen billowing from storage warehouses when workers reported at the automobile and mechanical engineering enclave.
Two fire tenders had to be dispatched to the scene as firefighters battled to quell the inferno from the two storey-structure secured by metal gates.
Several items were destroyed, including mechanical equipment which was kept at the warehouse.
Dagomba Line Fire
Just a day before, scores of wooden structures were gutted at the Dagomba Line slum which provides shelter head porters, petty traders, scrap dealers and some homeless people.
The same area was affected by a fire at least twice in 2020 with more than 10,000 people being displaced.
The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) had to provide relief for the victims.
Fire razed more than 30 shops in the early hours of January 10 prompting firefighters to deploy five tenders to ensure the fire did not spread to other shops.
The firefighters battled the inferno for over three hours before bringing it under control.
The cause of the fire is not known, but some shop owners suspected an electric welder who was carrying out repair works in one of the metal containers in the area.
At the KNUST, the fire swept through 10 shops at a mini-market behind the Republic Hall.
This occurred barely 24 hours after tertiary institution re-opened for academic work after staying home for many months due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Several items in container shops were destroyed when the fire was brought under control by fire-fighters at about 02:55 am.
University Relations Officer (URO) of KNUST, Dr Daniel Norris Bekoe told theghanareport.com there were no fatalities contrary to reports by some people on social media.
However, some students had to be evacuated from the Republic Hall for their safety.
Management entreated the public to disregard false information circulated on social media that 17 persons, including a porter, lost their lives.
2020 fire outbreaks
The Kaneshie inferno swept through portions of the multipurpose building and destroyed nine fabric shops and a warehouse. Six of the shops were totally burnt with nothing to be salvaged by the victims.
Barely 24 hours before the Kaneshie incident, a fire ripped through a market at Asankragwa in the Western region.
According to reports, the fire tender at the closest fire station had developed a fault for the past six months hence the young men in the area mobilised to douse the fire which lasted several hours.
By the time the fire was put out completely, four shops had been gutted with thousands of items destroyed.
On Tuesday, December 15, fire ravaged the Kantamanto market also in Accra.
Over 2, 592 people were affected, and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia led a government delegation to meet with the leadership of the market and other stakeholders to offer some support.
But a day before, on Monday 14, traders at the Koforidua were left counting their losses as their wares were consumed by fire at that part of the country.
The blaze was reportedly caused by an electrical fault on the main power supply pole of the ECG and spread to the nearby shops.
The most devastating of the series of fire outbreaks was the one that tore through thousands of shops at Odawna, a densely crowded market area on November 18.
It was the second fire incident at the same market within 10 months.
No deaths or injuries were reported, but goods worth thousands of cedis were consumed by the inferno, according to eyewitnesses.
Personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) had a tough time gaining access to the poorly planned area.
A former chairman of the Odwana Pedestrian Market Union, Obrempong Ampomah, told theghanareport.com’s Aba Asamoah at least 3,500 shops were affected by the fire.
Before then, the Ashanti Region also has had its share of fires on October 21.
A dawn fire swept through about 54 shops at the French Line section of the Kumasi Central Market, destroying properties worth thousands of Ghana cedis.
According to some victims, the fire started at about 2 am from one of the container shops and spread to other structures.
Items including empty sacks, cosmetic products as well as food ingredients were burnt in the fire.
Again in July 2020, fire swept through the Juaben Serwaa market in Koforidua in the Eastern Region destroying at least seven shops.
The dawn inferno consumed items worth thousands of cedis. Some traders trooped to the market centre when news of the fire outbreak got to them.
The traders attempted to salvage some of their wares from their shops. The Juaben Serwaa Market is the second-largest and populated market centre in the New Juaben South Municipality.
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