The Deputy Chief Fire Officer in charge of Operations, DCFO Kwaku Manu, says erection of buildings without proper planning makes it difficult for fire officers to combat fire.
“When we build and we don’t plan to create access routes, it becomes difficult for fire service to deal with issues of this nature, so if there is going to be any construction at all we should go by the national planning method. The planner of the place should be quite clear that we should have access routes all around,” he said.
DCFO Manu was speaking on the impact of a fire that gutted some residential areas in Tema Newtown.
In observing the hectic time the Tema Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) went through to put out the fire, he said, “Yesterday it was a very big challenge, mobilizing our fire engines to come to the fire scene was a very serious issue because the buildings were put together and there were no access routes and people were shouting that we should fire the water, how do you fire?”
He pleaded with the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) to ensure that due process was followed in the developmental planning of the communities, adding that, “You should plan in search a way that there is always access routes, so that in case of emergencies, people can run away and we can also easily do evacuations and attack the fire.”
Divisional Officer II (DOII) Timothy Affum, the Deputy Tema Regional Fire Officer, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), advised that , “We are entering the Harmattan season, and this is the season where everything gets dry.”
DOII Affum explained that the reason why some materials were a bit resistant to fire was because they had some amount of moisture “but around the Harmattan season all the moisture is taken away”.
“Therefore temperature for every substance to burn reduces therefore a little amount of heat can start fire. So people should be careful the way they handle fires as the Harmatan approaches other than that we will record a lot of fires and this is what we don’t want.
So the watch word here is carefulness. We should be very careful the way we handle fire issues during this season,” he said.
On the fire, DO II Afum informed that around 11pm on Monday the Tema Regional Fire Command received a call from Tema Newtown to the effect that some wooding structures were on fire.
“We requested for assistance and five fire tenders were used to put out the fire by five am. In all 27 households lost their properties completely.
He said investigations were on going for the GNFS to determine the cause of the fire adding that “no baby was burnt to death in the outbreak.”