Kejetia fire started by trader cooking near combustibles - Bawumia
Last week's Kumasi Kejetia Market fire was started by a trader who was cooking with gas in a shop, the Ghana National Fire Service has established.
The shop where the cooking was taking place, was near other shops where turpentine, gunpowder and other combustibles were sold.
That is what resulted in explosions in the market, when the fire started, the investigators have established.
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia made this known when he visited the market on Monday to inspect at first hand the damage caused to the new market.
"We have visited the spot of the fires and 33 shops were gutted. I have asked for a reason. I have been told investigations so far have suggested someone was cooking in his shop with gas. That is where the fire started,” Dr Bawumia said.
“Other shops close by also sell turpentine, gunpowder and other combustible that resulted in explosions in the market,” he added.
Areas not affected by fire to reopen on Tuesday
In Kumasi today, it was announced that the areas in the Kejetia Market, which was not affected by the fire would be reopened Tuesday (March 21) for trading activities.
The authorities had initially decided to close the entire market for one week as part of the investigations into the fire outbreak but the traders disagreed with that move.
The authorities suspected an electrical fault and wanted to do a thorough audit of the entire market.
But the establishment of the cause and where the fire started has made them to change that initial plan of entire closure of the market for one week.
Not electrical fault
Making the announcement, the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service have been able to identify that the fire was not started by an electrical fault.
This means, areas that were not affected by the fire outbreak can reopen for business while investigations continue at the affected part.
Kejetia market fire
Parts of the Kejetia Market, one of the monumental projects in Kumasi, was last Wednesday [March 15] engulfed in fire which burnt wares estimated at millions of Ghana cedis.
There were no casualties but a few people collapsed due to suffocation and were rushed to hospital.
The fire started from a shop on the second floor of the market around 4 p.m. and extended to the third floor.
Many traders wailed uncontrollably as thick black smoke from the burning shops in the market drifted into the afternoon sky.
A total of about 50 shops were affected out of which 33 were completely burnt.