Structures along the Odaw drain being gutted by fire
Structures along the Odaw drain being gutted by fire
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Gas stove leakage caused latest fire at Circle — Fire Service

 Preliminary investigations by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) into yesterday’s fire incident which occurred along the railway line near the Odaw drain and railway line show that it was caused by a gas stove which was left unattended to.

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The fire, which broke out late last Wednesday afternoon at the area popularly called ECOMOG, destroyed 300 out of the 450 structures located in the area, with firemen managing to save 150 structures.

“Our team is currently at the scene to continue with investigations to ascertain the actual cause of the fire but preliminary investigations suggest that somebody was cooking and left the gas stove unattended to and that led to this fire,” the Deputy National Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GNFS,  Divisional Officer (DO III), Desmond Ackah, said.

The situation caused a power outage in Adabraka, New Town and surrounding communities.  This is the second fire in that area in two years after a similar incident in February 2022 that led to an unsuccessful evacuation order.

Fire incident

The GNFS PRO stated the service received a distress call around 3:35 p.m so it quickly deployed fire engines which arrived at the scene at exactly 5:43 p.m. Upon arrival, he said, it was realised that the fire was already out of hand, thus, the service had to deploy four additional fire engines.

However, DO Ackah said because a majority of the structures in the area were made of wood, they aided in the combustion, making it difficult for the fire to be easily contained.
Looking at the nature of the area too, he said, getting access to the seat of the fire was a huge challenge.

Additionally, he said due to the nature of the area, getting access to a fire hydrant was another challenge and the fire engines had to move to Kwame Nkrumah Circle and around the Ghana Revenue Authority to refill.

That notwithstanding, he said the firemen were able to douse the fire around  10:57 p.m that same night.

One missing

DO III Ackah said although there were no casualties, one person could not be accounted for. “During the fire fighting, we received information that some people could not be accounted for and, therefore, we had to do a thorough search to ascertain that but as of this morning, we are getting reports that they have not been able to find one person so our team is on the ground to continue with thorough investigation,” he told the Daily Graphic in an interview yesterday.

Relocation

The fire, DO Ackah indicated, had displaced many people. He, therefore, called on authorities to move in and assist the victims.If possible, he said, all the people there should be relocated and given proper shelter somewhere else as the place was still not safe for settlement.

Other than that, he said, security in the area should be beefed up to prevent the reoccurrence of the fire incident. “In places like this, illegal connection is very rife and all sorts of illegal activities go on there, which is largely unchecked and if we don’t find a lasting solution to this, I will not be surprised that we will have another fire in the next foreseeable days which might probably be devastating than this,” he said.

Until then, he said the service would periodically move into the area to educate them on fire safety. Meanwhile, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Titus Glover, has visited the area to assess the situation.

He has issued a stern warning to settlers against rebuilding their structures. He stated that anyone attempting to rebuild would be arrested and assured that enforcement measures would be in place to ensure compliance.

“We don’t want to have any third fire; therefore, they should prepare to leave. We will make sure we put men on the ground to ensure nobody lives here. Anyone who tries to rebuild a structure here will be arrested," he cautioned.

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