Fire guts  200 structures at Makola Shopping Mall

Story: News Desk

200 makeshift structures at the Makola Shopping Mall in Accra were destroyed by fire on Friday night.

It took personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) close to four hours to extinguish the inferno with the assistance of reinforcements.

The fire started around 11:24 p.m. on October 20, and no casualties were recorded.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but authorities have temporarily shut down the shopping mall for investigations. Jewellery, perfumes, wigs, cosmetics, hair products, and dresses were some of the items destroyed by the fire.

Narrating the incident to journalists, the Deputy Director of Operations of GNFS, Chief Fire Officer, Kofi Forson, said over 3,000 stores were salvaged from burning.

“Around 11:24 pm, we received a call about a fire outbreak at the Makola Shopping Mall. Quickly our team from Makola despatched to the scene and within two minutes they arrived at the scene. Upon arrival, they realised the fire was fast spreading, the fire involved the ground floor, the first floor and some parts of the Mall, which dealt in perfumes and hair products. Quickly, we called for re-enforcement, and we ended up relying on nine fire tenders to help with the fire under control around 4:52 a.m. The building is very close to the ECG sub-station, and we were able to salvage the fire from spreading to the ECG sub-station and also salvage the fire from spreading to about 3,000 structures.”

He added, “unfortunately, we lost about 200 structures to the fire, there were lots of explosions. Many people had gas cylinders in there. The things they dealt in like perfume were very much combustible and fuelled the fire with explosions. Our men risked their lives because there was some slight building collapse here and there. It was a daunting task, but we risked it to ensure there was no reignition of fire and that the fire was totally extinguished.”

He underscored the difficulty they experienced in attempting to douse the fire.

“The challenge we had was accessibility to the trouble spot because of the makeshift structures had almost blocked all the alleys, making it difficult to fight the fire. People had stocked gas cylinders in there and it kept exploding. They forced open the padlocks locking the main entrance to the Mall, using special equipment, and got access to the spot where the incident occurred,” he explained.

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