The Ghana Fire Service ruled that cooking operations within the market grounds caused the March 2023 fire that devoured the new Kejetia Market in Kumasi.
The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) Regional Fire Public Relations Officer, Peter Addai, revealed that inquiries into the event revealed that a merchant was cooking at a neighboring business. The cooking activities ignited a substance, causing the fire to spread and devour one of the market’s floors.
During an interview on Luv FM, the Public Relations Officer for the Ashanti Regional Division of the Fire Service gave this information.
“We are done with the investigations of the fire incident at the Kejetia market. The cause of the market was a trader who was cooking,” he said.
According to Peter Addai, Regional Fire Public Relations Officer, despite safeguards in place to restrict cooking, heating, or any other similar operations at the market facilities, traders continue to disobey these laws.
He described a near-fire event in the market, emphasizing the ongoing difficulties in enforcing the laws.
“Another trader nearly set the Kejetia market again on fire in November using a heater to warm water. But this time it was only the kettle that got burnt,” he said.
On March 15, 2023, a piece of the Kejetia market was destroyed by a horrific blaze, bringing great anguish to many victims. Property and commodities worth millions of cedis were destroyed as a result of the fire.
This event was one of over 900 fires reported in the region from the beginning of the year and December 10, 2023. Notably, the number of instances decreased by 13.42% as compared to the same time in 2022, where 1,058 cases were recorded.
Despite the drop in occurrences, there were nine documented fatalities, down from 15 in 2022. Despite major attempts to recover property, the projected cost of destroyed property climbed dramatically during the year.
“Approximately GHS 226,701, 206.00 were lost as a result of these fire cases. Although there were losses we managed to salvage over GHS 370 million worth of properties as compared to the more than GHS 340 million recorded for last year,” he said.