The timely intervention of personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) saved the Ministry of Defence (MOD) building in Accra from destruction Monday morning.
It took fire tenders less than 10 minutes to extinguish what could have been a major fire outbreak atop the government building, which is valued at several million cedi. The fire resulted in no injuries.
An explosion from an air conditioning unit on the roof nearly resulted in a fire outbreak, according to the Deputy Chief Fire Officer in charge of Operations at the GNFS, Mr William Jesse Mensah. The GNFS received a distress signal about the explosion at exactly 10 AM; it took fire engines five minutes to arrive at the scene.
Officers and staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) rushed out of their offices to an assembly point while fire crews operated.
Situation under control
Briefing journalists at the scene, Mr Mensah said the GNFS responded expeditiously, and in the process, identified the unit that was on fire.
“We used our turntable ladder to douse the fire... The situation is under control and staff can go about their duties,” Mr Mensah assured.
Attributing the explosion to an electrical fault, Mr Mensah urged the members of staff not to turn on the air conditioners until an electrical engineer assessed the extent of damage and replaced the spoilt unit He advised the staff to open the windows to access fresh air until the air conditioning unit was fixed.
The Minister of Defence, Mr Benjamin Kunbuor, addressed the staff members who gathered at an assembly point during the incident, and assured them that the situation was under control.
He commended the GNFS for its quick response, and counseled the MOD staff members to go on with their duties.