By Kwabia Owusu-Mensah, GNA
Kumasi, April 10, GNA – Goods and cash running into millions of cedis were lost when fire swept through a five-story building – housing stores and a bank, near the Kumasi Central Market.
Personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) supported by the military, the police and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) struggled for hours to tame the blaze.
Siren wailing fire engines, flashing their blue lights, kept racing to and from the scene as the firefighters battled to prevent it from spreading to the other nearby buildings.
Mr. Simon Osei Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, and the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Osei Asibey Antwi, were on hand to oversee things.
There were no reported casualties.
The fire was believed to have been caused by the negligence and recalcitrance of a truck driver.
The truck was said to have been loaded with foam mattresses and the driver allegedly ignored the warning by the traders not to drive under the hanging electrical cables at the place because of the height of the load.
The mattresses reportedly entangled the cables, triggering the fire, which spread quickly to the building.
The truck got completely burnt and goods including, plastics, mother-care products, mattresses, combustible materials and cash.
The yet to be identified driver managed to flee from the scene.
The security officers had hectic time controlling the huge crowd, attracted to the scene by the thick black smoked that blanketed the sky.
Ms. Ama Anima, a trader, said the fire incident highlighted the urgent need for the city authorities to get the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to tackle the poor wiring in the Central Market area.
The way the cables had been left hanging perilously was troubling and it was time officials in charge of the management of the city acted.