‘Illegal wiring cause of Kumasi Central Market fire’
The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has attributed the fire which gutted parts of the Kumasi Central Market recently to illegal electrical wiring in the affected shops.
Over 30 shops were razed when a section of the market caught fire on Sunday, April 18.
The affected area was dominated by persons who trade in leather materials.
Properties worth thousands of cedis were destroyed by the fire.
The Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Fire Service, D.O 3 Desmond Ackah said: “Our preliminary investigations point to the fact that the place is bedevilled with a lot of illegal wiring activities. Those wirings have been compromised, and they don’t have any protection. They lack earthing systems, breakers, fuses and all the systems that can take excess circuitry”.
“So at the time of the fire, there was a rainstorm with thunder and lightning activity. They suspect that these lighting flashes must have generated excess current into the illegal wiring connectivity there and caused this fair risk. This was also confirmed by the eyewitnesses,” he stated.
To avert such occurrences in the future, D.O 3 Desmond Ackah urged the traders to always engage the services of certified electricians when wiring their shops.
“We sound a word of caution to those people in the enclave who try to engage the services of these quack electricians who do not care about doing the electrical connections up to the [right] standard, through the needed safety protocols, to desist from it. ”
Persons whose shops were located close to the section of the market which caught fire rushed to the scene to salvage what they could.
The last time a fire incident was recorded at the Kumasi Central Market was on July 30, 2020.
About 50 shops were affected by that incident.
2021 Kumasi fire outbreaks
The latest Kumasi Central market fire is not the first fire incident to have hit the Ashanti Regional capital this year.
In January, the region recorded four devastating fire outbreaks in just three days.
On Tuesday, January 12, fire swept through portions of the Suami Magazine market at about 7 am.
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 to 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 the 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.