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19.12.2007 General News

Four Injured In Fire Outbreak

Four people were severely burnt last Saturday in a fire that raged through the former GNTC building at Agona Swedru, which currently houses a number of warehouses and a furniture shop.

The four — Kobina Afoh, 30, Kofi Kobea, 28, Kojo Essuman, 34, and J.A. Owuba, 36, all residents of Swedru — who initially received care at the Agona District Hospital at Swedru, have been transferred to the 37 Military Hospital for further treatment.

Dr Apetergbor Dzodzogbe, who attended to the patients at the Agona District Hospital, said three of the victims had very severe burns and had to be transferred to a referral hospital, such as the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital or the 37 Military Hospital, which had better facilities to manage such situations.

The four sustained severe burns when a blazing fire swept through the building where workers of Pioneer Distilleries, one of the companies whose warehouses are located there, were off-loading industrial alcohol into its warehouse. At the time of the fire outbreak, there was a blackout.

The fire, which took a joint team of firemen from Swedru and Winneba several hours to bring it under control, continued smouldering till around 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Other warehouses where the fire wrecked havoc included those of Coca-Cola and Guinness.

All the furniture on display in the showroom of the leading furniture manufacturing company in the Agona District, Donkoh and Sons, and every object in the managing director's office were devastated by the fire.

The district fire office is still investigating the cause of the fire. The Agona District Police Commander, DSP B. B. Bakomora, who led a team of police personnel to the scene, had a hectic time controlling the crowd some of whom appeared to be potential looters.

He told reporters that he received a call around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday that the building was on fire and immediately called the Fire Service and mobilised some of his own personnel to the scene to ensure effective maintenance of security.

The Managing Director of Pioneer Distilleries, Mr Jonathan Kwame Abban, who played a significant role in securing admission for the victims at the 37 Military Hospital, was so shaken by the event that he declined to answer questions from the Daily Graphic on the possible cause of the accident.

Story by Kwamena Apponsah,