A blazing fire swept through a portion of the Kumasi Central Market and razed down about 70 shops, destroying products worth millions of Ghana Cedis.
The affected area, popularly known as “French Line”, was the hub for mostly plastic containers, cosmetics, jute bags, among other highly inflammable products.
Some traders suspected fishy deal to kind of pave way for the second phase of the Kumasi Kejetia Central Market redevelopment project, which is expected to commence from the affected area, soon.
Already, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly has handed over keys to some of the traders who are yet to relocate to the new Kejetia market.
This is the first fire outbreak this year 2019, unlike in the past when two or three fire cases were recorded in a year.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times here, the Public Relations Officer of the Ashanti Regional Fire Service, Assistant Divisional Officer (ADO) Desmond Ackah, indicated that, preliminary investigation conducted revealed electrical fault could be the cause of the fire, although the investigation was yet to be concluded.
He explained that, investigation revealed bare wires, poor electrical wiring and connection could have contributed to the fire “but the plastic and cosmetic products also contributed immensely to the rapid spread of the fire”.
According to ADO Ackah, investigations conducted with the Power Distribution Services also revealed a lot of illegal electricity connections in that area as investigators were told power was always and quickly reconnected whenever meters were disconnected for non-payment.
He stated that, the congestion at the area was so poor that, officers found it very difficult to get the fire tender through to fight the fire in spite of getting to the place on time.
ADO Ackah however, advised the public to be cautious of how they handled and used electricity, as the country was approaching the dry season.
According to some of the affected shop owners, they were called in the early hours of Monday that there was a fire outbreak at the area, and so they rushed to the place to salvage some of their items but upon reaching there, all their items and properties were completely burnt into ashes.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI