It was an unusual site at Agbogba flowers on Thursday, 2nd April 2020 when residents picked up their buckets to help the fire service put out an inferno which destroyed three semi-detached houses and a factory in the neighborhood.
The residents, mostly young men, were captured by GhanaWeb’s lenses moving around with buckets and bowls of water which they poured on officers working to put out the fire to help them stay cool.
Unlike other fire scenes where officers are seen asking civilians to stay away from the inferno, the officers were this time seen giving directions to the residents as to where to pour their out their water.
This, according to the leader of the team on the ground, Assistant Chief Fire Officer James Owusu Adjei, was because all attempts by the officers to get the people to stay away had proved futile.
“When there’s a disaster people forget that we are in this COVID-19 era and they try to salvage what they have. They tend to be a bit susceptible to the social distance that has been outlined. We had to tell them to move out and to space out but when people want to help you can’t do so much,” he said.
The Director of Operations of the Ghana National Fire Service thanked the residents for the help rendered his team but advised them to stay indoors to stay safe from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Six fire tenders were at the scene with over 70 officers. ACFO Adjei told the media that some officers who were off duty had come out to help the team fight the fire.
He said bringing the fire under control was not an easy task because there was a lot of combustible materials present.
“We initially thought it was a domestic fire looking at the area but we saw that it was used for commercial purposes so we called for more pumps… when you have fires involving highly combustible materials its quite difficult but with the able men and the assistance of the people around, we’ve been able to contain the fire.”
He said investigations are underway to ascertain the cause of the fire.