More than 30 wooden structures and a metal container were yesterday morning razed down by fire which consumed the slum opposite the Krofuom Market in the Kumasi Metropolis.
The area which served as a dwelling place for squatters was also used to sell foodstuffs and the manufacturing of local footwear.
The fire which was said to have started around 1a.m. destroyed personal effects of the dwellers in the slum, and also destroyed the wares of the provision store operators living in the area.
Most of the residents lost all their property as they could not salvage anything because of the intensity of the fire.
There were no casualties but items worth several millions of Ghana cedis were destroyed in the fire which lasted close to three hours.
The Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service, Divisional Officer Mr Desmond Ackah, told the Daily Graphic that although the fire started somewhere around 1a.m., the Manhyia Office of the service received the call about the fire at 2:11 a.m..
He said due to the inaccessible nature of the place coupled with the intensity of the fire, the personnel managed to bring the fire under control around 3a.m. and completely extinguished it at around 4:16 a.m.
He said if the call had come earlier, the personnel could have controlled the spread of the fire and brought it under control earlier, thereby limiting the extent of the damage.
Mr Ackah said the affected people were initially trying to salvage their items and quench the fire on their own, and only called the service when it got out of hand.
He said the cause of the fire could not yet be established but said investigations were underway.
He said the service had to deploy two fire engines to be able to extinguish the fire due to non-availability of fire hydrants in the area.
So far, the region has recorded 127 fires in the first quarter of this year as against 353 for the same period last year.
According to Mr Ackah, even though the number of fires recorded this year were far lower than those recorded for the same period last year, “there is the perception that this year has recorded more fires.”
He said that could be due to the attention the media has given to the fire incidents that were recorded this year.
Mr Ackah said the service would continue to intensify its education and outreach programmes to ensure that some of those fires were reduced to the barest minimum.
According to him, the region continues to experience some of those fire incidents due to the illegal electricity connection, use of overage wires and gas leakages.
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