Makola Fire: Service Blame Late SOS Call, Deny Water Shortage Claim

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The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), has blamed lateness of the “SOS” call placed to it to come douse Makola fire as the reason for the delay in fighting the fire.

The outfit’s Public Relations Officer said, the 192 ‘SOS’ call to report the fire came in three hours after the fire had started hence the difficulty in dealing with the fire.

“I disagree because the first tender that arrived came in time.

Image of the three-storey building burning in the Makola market. Source: MyJoyOnline.com

“If they had called us around 6:30am when the fire started, we would have been able to douse the fire before it got to this stage.

“When we came, we interviewed some people and they said it started at 6:30am but we came here at 10 minutes past 9am (9:10am).

“Look at the difference in time. So we cannot be blamed, we have only come in here to assist,” Mr Ellis Robinson Okoe claimed.

Image of the three-storey building burning in the Makola market.

In addition to that, the GNFS PRO denied stated reasons for the delay in dealing with the fire given by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Mayor.

Mr Okoe said that contrary popular opinion, the fire tenders that were deployed to the scene did contain water.

His comment were in response to concerns raised by the public, lamenting the Fire Service’s lethargic intervention.

They were particularly worried about the revelation by AMA boss, Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, that the fire personnel had to go as far as Circle, Kaneshie to fetch water, before arriving at the scene.

Image of the three-storey building burning in the Makola market.

Traders and owners of shops at the scene of the fire in the Mokala market, of the Accra Metropolis, blamed the Fire Service for not dousing the fire swiftly.

They say if the fire was dealt with on time, they would not have lost as much properties as they lost.

According to the traders, they called the Ghana National Fire Service when the fire started but were told there was no water.

Mr Ellis Robinson Okoe, however, says the main challenge that led to the delay in quenching the fire is the structure of the building.

He added that the three-storey building had only one entry and exit.

Image of the three-storey building burning in the Makola market.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Mr Ellis Robinson Okoe, spoke to JoyNews.

The Fire Service, were reported to have been battling the fire as at 8pm (20:00GMT), meaning the fire may have lasted for over 12 hours.

However. the fire was reported to have been a resurgent fire at the cosmetic shop wing of the market where highly inflammable items such as perfumes were sold.

Mr Ellis Robinson Okoe, confirmed that the fire had reignited, noting ,“the different combustible materials that are in the fire are reacting in different ways.

“We realized that mosquito sprays and other materials exploded at a different points in time.”

Image of the three-storey building burning in the Makola market.

Some victims of the fire outbreak say they have not insured their goods due to mistrust in the insurance system.

Meanwhile, the Ghana National Fire Service has given the assurance that its officers will not leave the scene until the fire had been totally quenched.

The fire ravaged a three-storey building in the Mokala market in Accra on Monday.

The fire, which was believed to have started from the top floors of the building, razed to the down floor.

Mr Okoe mentions that though the actual cause of the fire is not yet known, eye witnesses are relating it to a generator.

He indicated nonetheless that, his outfit would not rely on that, and that they will also do their investigations to establish the cause of the fire.

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