The Ghana National Fire Service [GNFS] has said it will begin a rigorous exercise to educate Ghanaians on how to operate fire extinguishers to tackle fire outbreaks.
According to the GNFS, this will enable the citizenry to put out fires that might occur within their precincts even before firefighters get there, and will also prevent loss of lives and property.
The GNFS made this known in relation to a fire outbreak that gutted a three-story building at the Makola Market in Accra on Monday, July 5, 2021.
The fire, which took the firefighters over five hours to douse, destroyed items worth millions of cedis.
The fire, according to eyewitnesses, started around 9.00 am on Monday in one of the shops and started spreading to others.
“I went to buy some things at Makola this [Monday] morning. In the process, I saw smoke coming from the second floor of the three-story building. So the people around started calling the Fire Service. After about five minutes, the Fire Service personnel were still not around, but the fire was spreading, so people in the complex tried to gather their things from the shops before the fire could get to their shops.”
“I eventually moved away because the fire was intensifying, and you could feel the heat from the fire, which was becoming dangerous for people around,” she said.
The Public Relations Officer of GNFS, Ellis Robbinson Okoe, in an interview with Citi News said the service would sensitize the public on how to use fire extinguishers as first respondent protocol during such incidents.
“People are speculating on what might have caused the outbreak, but I don’t want to rely on hearsay. So we will do the proper professional work, and we will know what actually caused the fire. I have also seen some fire extinguishers around, but after the investigations, we will know why they [traders] were not able to use them.”
“Probably, they don’t know how to operate it. So we will go into that and see how best we can educate the people because if somebody knew how to operate them [extinguishers], The fire would have been doused at the initial stage before we even got here.”