Fire renders 600 slum dwellers at Shiashie homeless …as another guts 4 shops in Takoradi

More than 600 slum dwellers places of abode and four shops were destroyed in separate fires last Friday night and Saturday dawn at Shaishie in the Greater Accra Region and central business district of Takoradi in the Western Region.

The fire at Shaishie which started at around 9:45p.m, on Friday night, destroyed wooden and metal structures built by squatters as dwelling places and for commercial purposes.

Items damaged by the fire were personal effects worth several hundreds of Ghana cedis, but no death or injury was recorded.

Scrap dealers took advantage to look for metals, whilst affected victims also searched through the debris to salvage their items.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Divisional Officer (DO) Grade II Ellis Okoe Robinson who disclosed this to the Ghanaian Times on Saturday said they had information about the fire and proceeded to the scene.

The PRO said five fire tenders from Legon, Adenta, Abelemkpe, GNFS Headquarters and Madina were used to extinguish the fire at 2:57am on Saturday.

DOII Robinson said the cause of fire was under investigations.

Meanwhile, four shops including the wholesale department of First Samuel Supermarket, located on the Kingston Avenue at the central business district of Takoradi in the Western Region, were on Saturday dawn, destroyed by fire.

The fire, which started at about 12:32 am and accompanied by explosions and strong winds, spread from one shop to the other and sent  thick clouds of smoke into the atmosphere.

An anxious crowd thronged the scene to catch a glimpse of the raging fire, which took about five hours for a team of fire fighters from the GNFS, the Naval Base and Takoradi Port to bring the fire under control.

When the Ghanaian Times visited the scene at about 6am, there were signs of black smoke and huge debris scattered in the area, showing the destruction caused by the fire.

The cause of fire is yet to be established, but investigations into the incident have begun.

Briefing the Ghanaian Times, the Western Regional Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Divisional Officer (DO) Grade III Emmanuel Bonney, explained that the headquarters received a distress call from the Takoradi Market Circle station about the fire.

He said, the command deployed the fire crew, and within five minutes they arrived at the scene, and revealed that initial assessment showed that the roof of the shops had caved-in.

DO III Bonney reported that the roofs of the shops were made with cards and also contained combustible items, including insecticide spray, cooking oil, baby clothing  and textiles, coupled with the strong dawn winds, spread the fire  to  other shops.

“We deployed four fire tenders and three tankers to contain the fire and prevented  it from spreading to other areas around the Consolidated Bank Ghana  Limited, the UBA Bank, the Total filling station, the retail shop of First Samuel and other adjoining shops.” he told the Ghanaian Times.

The PRO applauded the early public alert and explained such efforts were critical in smooth fire operations, adding “we also commend the police for securing the CBG Bank and UBA Bank against any looting.”

DO III Bonney, however, complained about the interference of the crowd at the fire scene, saying that they distract the work of fire fighters.

BY CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE AND ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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