It took more than 20 fire tenders to put out a raging fire that gutted six warehouses, a private residence, a restuarant and parts of the Total Filling Station situated along the North Industrial Road in Accra on Wednesday.
As if that was not scary enough, the heat and the thick smoke billowing into the sky from the fire engulfed a Volta River Authority (VRA) high tension electricity pylon that was lying just above the filling station.
What further compunded the problem was the fact that Fire Service personnel at the scene searched endlessly for the location of some hydrants in the area.
Though more than 50 Fire officers were at hand to fight the raging inferno in a four hour battle, the direction of the wind as well as some chemicals stored in the warehouse aided the fire to spread which made the work of the fire service team very arduous.
The inferno was said to have started as a small spark in the former Loyalty Garment Factory.
The factory, presently houses six warehouses which include an alcohol supply warehouse, where the fire is said to have began; J. K. Industries, the warehouse of a printing press; Top Industries warehouse, KGM Industry Limited, a plastic munufacturing company warehouse and some other warehouses which had chemicals and sacks in them.
The fire which gutted the warehouses, said to belong to some Indian businessmen, one of whose name was given only as Pawan, further spread to their residence which is just behind the edifice as well as to “Di Bamboo Restuarant” which is behind the Total Filling Station.
It also gutted the roofing of a supermarket at the filling station and some parts of an office, adjacent to the mart at the filling station.
According to reports, other industries around had to safeguard their wares including Auto Parts Ghana Limited. They removed all their cars from their showrooms to safer places as they share a common wall with the warehouse.
Other companies evacuated their staff from their premises as they feared the worse.
Police drawn from Kaneshie and the Industrial area deployed to the scene, had a hectic time controlling the crowd which gathered the scene.
Two ambulances drawn from the National Ambulance Service were on stand-by for any eventuality.
As journalists pressed forward to get a better look a loud explosion from the burning warehouse was heard which sent the numerous onlookers running for their lives.
In the ensuing stampede, three people - a reporter from Peace FM and two reporters from U-TV, a television station from the stables of Despite Group of company - who were caught in the confusion suffered various degrees of injury.
One of the U-TV crew had to be rushed to the hospital following the stampede.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but properties running into several millions of Ghana cedis have been lost.
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