The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has commenced investigations into the fire outbreak that claimed the lives of five persons at the residence of the Dansoman district pastor of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church (SDA).
The wife of Pastor Ebenezer Ato Kessie, his two children, including a three-week-old baby boy, his mother-in-law and his wife’s niece were burnt to death in the fire that engulfed their home at Akoko Foto, Dansoman, in Accra on Sunday, August 19, 2018.
Information gathered by the Daily Graphic indicates that Pastor Kessie’s mother-in-law, Grace Ampah, and the nine-year-old niece, Precious Pokuaa, had visited Mrs Linda Kessie to help her take care of the newborn baby.
Pastor Kessie, who is also the Assistant Communications Director of the Accra City Conference of the SDA, had gone for a camp meeting and was, therefore, not in the house when the tragedy struck his family.
Cause of fire
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the acting Head of Public Relations of the GNFS, Divisional Officer Grade I Mr James Oheneba Kwarteng, said the GNFS was yet to establish the cause of the fire.
“For the cause of the fire, we are still investigating and we will let the public know when we arrive at it. Currently, we are working hand-in-hand with those who controlled the fire to investigate,” he said.
In a related development, a statement issued by the GNFS said the service received a distress call around 6.30 a.m. about a fire outbreak at Dansoman.
According to the statement, personnel from the Dansoman fire station, which was the nearest station to the fire scene, were immediately dispatched.
“On arrival at 6.37 a.m., it was observed that the fire was well alight and had engulfed a six-bedroom apartment on the first floor of house No. A 29/20 at Dansoman Akoko Foto, South Odorkor. Fire fighters, upon arrival, realised that the victims were trapped in the building but could not immediately get access into the apartment due to security burglar-proof doors and windows, thereby, delaying rescue efforts, as well as firefighting operations,” it stated.
The personnel, however, persisted by employing various tactics and later got access to the apartment.
“At the end of the nearly five hours of rescue and fire operations, five people, comprising three adults and two children, were found dead as a result of inhalation of smoke. It took three fire engines to bring the fire under control due to its intensity and the extent of fire spread,” it was stated.