About thirty-three (33) shops at the Kumasi Kejetia Market have been destroyed by the fire that gutted the new market late Wednesday afternoon.
According to the a public relations officer of the Ghana Fire Service, Patrick Addai, the fire started at the 1st floor (Extension Area) of the market and spread to the third floor of the facility where some traders were trapped.
Speaking on Kumasi based Hello FM, he disclosed that with the help of other state security agencies, they were able to rescue traders, adding that no casualty had been recorded yet.
He said lot of wares destroyed by the fire include cosmetic, adhesive, provisions, among others.
According to him, the Kejetia and Metro Fire Posts were the first point of call. He, however, revealed that they had to call for reinforcement to quench the fire.
He explained that some of their water holes at the new Kejetia Market Fire Post are not active due to leakages which often flood the market.
Patrick Addai narrated that “around 5:40pm the fire was brought under control with small flames in few shops and by 6:30pm the fire was completely quenched. The call came in around 4:30pm and we did all we could to bring the fire down and also save lives”.
He further noted that although the exit points were not compromised, due to the smoke, the people panicked so a different alternative had to use to rescue them.
The fire officer added that they had commenced investigations to ascertain the cause of the fire disaster, adding that “smoke/fire detectors at the facility are not functioning”.
“We have to take our time to investigate the cause of the fire disaster in order not to bring false results in a haste. Due to the thick smoke, we had to use lines to rescue the people,” he said.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Sam Pyne, and others officials have visited the scene.
Mr. Osei-Mensah suggested that the market should be closed for 48 hours to give the Ghana Fire Service enough time to investigate the cause of fire.