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05.05.2004 General News

Fire guts Tema Central Market

By GNA

Tema, May 05, GNA - Fire swept through parts of the Tema Community one Central Market last night, destroying food items and other properties worth millions of cedis.

The cause of the fire is not yet known but it is believed to be an electrical fault. There were no casualties.

Ten tailoring shops and a number of stalls were razed down by the fire, which started around 1:30 am and it took firemen from the National Fire Service, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Tema Oil Refinery about three hours to bring it under control.

Mr Daniel Seidu, alias Black Cat told newsmen at the fire scene that he received a report from the watchmen on duty that they saw thick smoke coming from a particular area of the market, which was followed by a blast and then fire.

He immediately called the firemen on telephone whose timely arrival prevented the spreading of the fire to other parts of the market. Mr Alex Hughes, Tema Municipal Fire Officer suggested the decongestion of the market, because accessibility to the fire scene was a problem, which made the combating of the fire difficult.

He said there could be a power outage and it was possible an electrical gadget was left on and so the pressure that followed with the power might have caused the incident.

Mr Hughes therefore advised market traders to endeavour to switch off their electrical gadgets before leaving for home.

Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Tema Municipal Chief Executive inspected the extent of damage, sympathised with the victims and said in the interim, officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) would offer assistance, while a long term solution is found to the problem.

Mr Ashong Narh advised the market traders to refrain from putting stalls on water hydrants to enable firemen have easy access to water to fight fire in the event of any disaster.

He said despite education, recalcitrant ones would always flout the Tema Municipal Assembly's directives and recently some of the hydrants were exposed which were used to fight the fire.

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