A total of 17 fire outbreaks were recorded across the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, during the Easter festivities, officials say.
Ghana’s Chief Fire Officer, Edwin Ekow Blankson described three of the incidents as “major fires”.
Two firefighters, according to Mr Blankson, sustained various degrees of injuries but have since been treated and discharged by medics.
While describing the development as unprecedented, Mr Blankson said a committee has been set to investigate the sources and causes of the outbreak.
Mr Blankson made this disclosure when he toured the Asafo and the Kumasi Central Markets on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, following a series of fire outbreaks that destroyed properties at both facilities.
“For the past four days we have recorded 17 fires and three of them are major fires. This is the first time the fire service has witnessed such a challenge…we sympathise with all those who have lost cash and goods.
“We also recorded two casualties [who are firefighters] but I was told by the regional commander that they have been treated and discharged”, Mr Ekow Blankson explained.
While commending firefighters for their prompt response to emergency services, he also urged residents to partner the Ghana National Fire Service to protect lives and properties.
Mr Blankson was, however, unhappy with some of the affected traders, who had erected wooden structures at the Kumasi Central Market to commence business.
He said the development could affect their investigations.
“I was shocked. I just couldn’t believe it that without the clearance from KMA, they have started reconstruction and that is very dangerous. Now everything is cleared. Nevertheless we are prepared to go deeper for more understanding of what is happening to Ashanti especially Kumasi in particular”, he explained.
KMA stops fire victims from rebuilding sheds
The fire commander’s comment appears to corroborate that of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly which had earlier directed affected traders to halt the reconstruction of sheds at the enclave.
The Assembly says government will soon break ground for the commencement of the second phase of the Central Market Redevelopment project.
“Currently, no, we will not allow them rebuild shelters because very soon all this place will wait for assessment from NADMO”, Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Osei Assibey Antwi told reporters.
Two separate fire incidents at the Asafo Market which occurred just a day after a similar one at the Kumasi Central Market, swept through a number of shops.
Shops including hair dressing salons, jewelry shops, leather shops among others were heavily affected.
Another inferno on Easter Monday, also razed a building at the Grace Chapel of the Calvary Charismatic Center in Kumasi.
A regional security council meeting was held following the incident pointing to suspected arson attacks.
The Ashanti Regional Secretariat of the opposition National Democratic Congress is, however, urging government to compensate affected victims.
They also want government to complete stalled market projects that were started by the erstwhile John Mahama administration.
Source: Daily Mail GH