On Friday night, a fire at the Makola Shopping Mall in Accra damaged 200 improvised constructions.
With the aid of reinforcements, it took members of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) close to four hours to put out the fire.
On October 20, the fire began at 11:24 p.m. There were no reported injuries.
Authorities have temporarily closed the mall as they conduct investigations, despite the fact that the source of the fire is unknown. The things destroyed by the fire included clothing, jewelry, perfumes, wigs, cosmetics, and hair products.
Over 3,000 stores were saved from burning, according to Kofi Forson, chief fire officer and GNFS deputy director of operations, who described the situation to press.
“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.