A devastating fire engulfed Makola Shopping Mall in Accra. It has rendered over 200 shops and makeshift structures destroyed, prompting a temporary closure for assessment.
The fire, which started at 11:00 pm on Friday, October 20, 2023, was contained within four and a half hours by Ghana National Fire Service personnel. The cause of the outbreak remains under investigation.
The losses included wigs, perfumes, cosmetics, jewelry, and various items worth thousands of Ghana cedis, although there were no casualties.
The Deputy Director of Operations at the GNFS, Chief Fire Officer Kofi Forson, reported that personnel received a distress call around 11:24 pm and rapidly arrived at the scene due to the proximity of a fire station.
The intense fire required additional reinforcements, totaling nine firefighting appliances and 70 personnel.
One challenge faced was limited access due to blocked alleys caused by makeshift structures. Despite this, the timely response prevented damage to a nearby Electricity Company of Ghana substation.
The Greater Accra Regional Commander of the GNFS, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Roberta Aggrey-Ghanson, noted that the explosions heard resulted from cosmetic products exposed to the fire’s extreme heat.
Mayor Elizabeth K.T. Sackey visited the site and stressed that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly would await a GNFS report to determine future actions. She also appealed to traders to take precautionary measures to prevent future outbreaks.
Eyewitnesses echoed the need for a lasting solution to such incidents. They also addressed the placement of makeshift structures for better access during disasters.
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