The alertness of officers of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has foiled a deliberate criminal attempt by an unknown person to set fire to the Kumasi Central Market.
Mr. Semekor Kwaku Fiadzo, the Ashanti Regional Fire Officer, confirmed this to journalists and said no arrest had been made.
He said they were collaborating with the police to track down and arrest the suspect.
Personnel of the service, who were on patrol duty, saw smoke coming from a section of the market, popularly known as “18”, at about 0030 hours, on Wednesday, and quickly moved to the place.
It took about five minutes for the firefighters to put out the fire – stop it from spreading.
He added that cosmetics, baby diapers, singlets and mother care products in four stalls, were ravaged.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Fiadzo said a partially burned container, believed to have contained petrol and match sticks used by the suspected arsonist were recovered.
These, he indicated, were found not far away from the scene of the fire.
He said they were inclined to believe that the arsonist threw petrol from behind one of the gates to the market and lighted a match to set the place ablaze.
The market has been seeing recurring devastating fires, a development, that has been giving both the city authorities and the traders’ sleepless nights.
They have been at their wits end to find clues – to unravel the cause of the fire outbreaks, which had brought so much pain and misery to many.
The GNFS has responded by setting up a special task force to carry out day and night patrol of the market.
It has additionally upped fire safety education of the traders.
DCFO Fiadzo said they were determined to scale-up the effort to ensure that market fires in the city became a thing of the past.
He called on the traders and watchmen to cooperate with personnel of the GNFS to prevent any fire outbreak.