Fires Hit Two Accra C’nities

Some of the residents trying to quench the fire.Photo .Ebo GormanTwo fire outbreaks destroying property worth thousands of cedis, were recorded in Accra yesterday. The first incident occurred at ‘Sodom and Gommorrah’ at Agbogbloshie, where about 100 wooden structures were gutted by fire, while the second was reported at Taifa, where 25 kiosks and three block houses were razed down.

No causalities were recorded.The causes of the fires were yet to be established. Hundreds of people at Agbogbloshie were reported to have been displaced as a result of the incident.

The fire, which started at 12 noon, destroyed items running into hundreds of cedis. When The Ghanaian Times got to the scene at about 12:30pm, some of the victims were seen wailing uncontrollably and counting their losses.

Others were carrying items such as mattresses, fans, television sets, computers and other personal effects to safety.
Personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service managed to bring the fire under control while police personnel were also present to maintain law and order.

An eyewitness who gave his name as Ussifu Mohammed said he was in his room when he heard people shouting, and he rushed out to see the raging fire destroying the wooden structure.

The Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Prince Billy Anaglatey, told newsmen at Agbogbloshie that he received a call and proceeded to the area within 10 minutes.
He said seven firetenders were used to bring the fire under control within two hours.
Mr Anaglatey said accessibility to the scene was a problem due to how the structures were put up, noting that “illegal connection goes on at the slum areas”.
The Accra Regional Police Crime Officer, Chief Superintendant Emmanuel Frank Adufati, corroborated the story at Railway line at Taifa Junction, and said the fire occurred at about 11am, and destroyed personal effects.
He said a resident was reported to have lit a candle which came into contact with a gas cylinder in a kiosk, resulting in the fire outbreak.
Meanwhile, officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) have visited the scene to assess the situation and offer the necessary assistance to the victims.
Since the beginning of this year, 3,903 fire outbreaks have been recorded throughout the country, resulting in the death of 65 people.
The fires have been attributed to power outages, illegal connection, over-loading of sockets, and the failure to adhere to safety regulations.
Major markets such as Makola, Kantamanto, Agbogbloshie, Odawna and Mallam Atta in Accra, and the Kumasi Central Market in the Ashanti Region, have witnessed fire outbreaks.
A team of experts from the United States arrived in the country on June 11, to assist the government to unravel the mystery behind the numerous fire outbreaks in the country.
The government also set up a machinery to find the root causes of these market fires, but the result is yet to be made public.  By Anita Nyarko                          

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