Aftermath of Wednesday’s fire - Kejetia Market shut down
The Kejetia Market has been shut down until Monday to allow the management of the facility to assess the damage caused by last Wednesday’s fire and put safety measures in place.
Over 30 shops were burnt in the fire incident, destroying items worth millions of Ghana cedis.
During the closure, only those affected by the fire will be allowed entry for three hours daily to salvage what is left of their items.
The Managing Director of the Kumasi City Markets Limited (KCML), E. K. Duffuor Addae, announced this yesterday when he briefed the media on the fire incident.
He said the decision was taken following a recommendation by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, and in consultation with the leadership of the traders.
The market was, however, opened yesterday for half of the day to enable those with perishable goods, such as vegetables, meat and fresh fish, to have access to their goods.
In all, Mr Addae said, 50 shops were affected, but, directly, 30 shops were destroyed by the fire.
According to him, the fire started around 4:30 p.m. and it took about two hours for the fire team to bring the blaze under control.
He said the area where the fire occurred had 579 shops.
He said although the management knew where the fire started from, they were unable to tell the cause and said they would leave that to the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).
“’The exact shop where the fire started is numbered F3472.
We know that much, so we know where the fire emanated from.
We will work with the GNFS, cooperate with them and make all necessary information available to them to help with their investigations,” he said.
The regional minister, who visited the market yesterday, commended the GNFS and the police for their intervention in ensuring the fire was brought under control.
He was grateful that no human life was lost and attributed that to the swift intervention by the GNFS and the police for ensuring that traders’ goods were secured.
“First, let’s praise the GNFS and the Ghana Police Service; they did very well.
We also thank God that we did not have any causality.
Even though we have items that have been massively destroyed, we thank God we did not lose any life,” he said.
Mr Osei-Mensah said he would collaborate with the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Decentralisation to set up a committee to investigate the incident.
According to him, the fire would need to be investigated “because certain things must be clarified; for instance, why is it that the sprinkler did not switch on when the fire started, and why is it that the smoke detectors were not working?”
The Ashanti Regional Fire Commander, Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO1) Henry Giwa, said although the management of the market had installed every needed equipment to fight fire, the couplings were not compatible with those of the GNFS.
“If you fight the fire using their hoses and you need to extend farther, that is where you will have the challenge,” he said.
He said the service was yet to determine the cause of the fire, although it was aware of the source.