Fire has destroyed four wooden structures and a metallic container mini-mart on the same plot of land at Ashaiman Newtown.
The inferno started at about 11.30pm on Monday, but by the time the team of firefighters from the Ashaiman Municipal Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) station arrived at the scene, at about 12.28am, Tuesday, only three empty Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders could be picked from the charred wooden structures and mini-mart.
Felix Bally, owner of the mini-mart and one of the sons of the landlord of house number ANT/Z6/118, Ashaiman Newtown, awed by the devastation, told the leader of the team of firefighters that he was indoors with his wife at about 10.45pm Monday, taking stock of new goods he had bought to restock the mini-mart for his wife, ahead of the Christmas festivity, when, abruptly, they realised that thick smoke had consumed their room.
He said he dashed out only to realise that fire was burning his family storeroom, three rooms of occupancy -all built of wood- and his metallic mini-mart.
The fire, as he heard from onlookers, started from the only room occupied by a married couple, who were not in at the time.
Just when he and the wife were about to lock their business centre to close for the day, Mr Bally told the GNFS leader, he saw a waiting taxi parked in front of his mini-mart, and when he enquired, was told that the taxi was there to convey his critically ill tenant (man) to the hospital.
“So, I went out to help the wife to carry the husband into the waiting taxi. After that, I closed my business and entered my room with my family. So, when I realised that thick smoke had consumed my room and run out, I heard some of the youth doing their best to douse the ravaging fire that started from the second room [the only room occupied by the tenants]. That’s when I called 192, and I must thank you (GNFS) for coming to do your best to save the neighbouring houses from going down,” Felix Bally said. “It is well,” he added, folding his arms on his chest.
He could not be specific about what incendiary material the couple might have had in their room before leaving for the hospital, Felix Bally told the GNFS personnel when asked whether or not the tenants left a lit candle or mosquito coil in their room.
The poor state of the Ashaiman Newtown road and vehicles parked on the shoulders of the narrow street leading to the fire scene made it difficult for the huge GNFS vehicle with registration number FS 474 to arrive in time.
But as usual, the energetic youth of the area put all hands on the deck to assist the trained firefighters to combat the fire which sent billowing smoke engulfing rooms in the area and into the atmosphere.
The firefighters, after commending the residents of the area for their huge assistance, spent a few minutes to educate the public on the need to be wary with the way they use flammable materials especially as the atmosphere is dry with the Harmattan wind.