Personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service were stretchered to their wits end in a fire that engulfed a warehouse and adjoining structures at the North Industrial Area in Accra Wednesday.
The cause of the fire was not readily known but some witnesses said the fire started about ten minutes after a light out. Some witnesses also suspect that the fire might have been caused by cigarette at the premises of the KGM warehouse which has been burnt down totally to ashes.
The most affected buildings housed the warehouse of Top Industries which deal in plastic products. Some of the items kept in the warehouse included alcohol, and some other raw material used in the production of the plastic products.
Although the fire is said to have started around 11:00am, it took the Fire Service close to an hour to get to the scene by which time the fire had gathered momentum.
The first fire tender that got to the scene run out of water which lead to a reinforcement. According to a witness, the first fire tender that arrived had water hose which were visibly weak which he said hampered the fighting of the raging fire.
As the fire threatened a nearby Total Filling Station and other adjoining structures, more fire tenders arrived as they desperately fought the fire from causing mayhem by consuming the filling station.
The fire attracted thousands of curious onlookers who were bewildered at the shocking spectacle. The onlookers stood close to the filling station oblivious of the danger involved.
The direction of the wind aided the fire as well as some chemicals stored in the warehouse which made the work of the fire service very cumbersome.
Another catastrophe loomed as the heat and the thick smoke from the fire engulfed a high tension electricity pylon that was lying just above the filling station.
A loud explosion from the burning warehouse sent the numerous onlookers running for their lives. In the ensuing stampede, two people who were caught in the confusion suffered various degrees of injury and were rushed to the hospital.
The Fire Service have used over 25 fire tenders in fighting the fire which visibly has stretched the fire men to their limits. The Acting Chief Fire Officer, J. B. E. Guyiri who appeared on the scene declined to make any comments until the fire is totally put out.
The owners of the warehouse were also tight-lipped on the incident which has damaged properties worth millions of Ghana cedis. No casualty has been recorded so far.
The Police were also present to ensure that onlookers do not interfere with the work of the firemen and also protect property. Two persons who attempted to steal some savaged items from nearby stores were arrested by police amidst demands by an irate mob calling for instant justice.
The firemen have been able to bring the fire to an appreciable level. But when all this is done, the Fire Service must go back to the drawing board and determine where all the fire hydrants in the city could be located as they were at loss as to the location of some hydrants in the area.