Some of the shops in flames
Members of Youth for Progressive Change (YPC) at Wassa Akropong in the Western Region have vented their spleen on the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Akwasi Oppong Fosu, for ignoring their request for a fire tender for the area.
Fire destroyed some shops behind the Wassa Akropong Post Office in the Amenfi East district of the region Monday afternoon.
According to an eyewitness, the fire started around 2pm and consumed about five shops.
Sources had it that one person collapsed due to the excessive heat and was rushed to the hospital; apart from that, no casualty was recorded.
According to the youth group, the absence of a fire tender at Wassa Akropong made the inferno, which initially gutted one shop, spread to other stores and caused damage to properties worth thousands of Ghana cedis.
The youth claimed that even though the MP had converted an old structure in the area into a fire station, there were neither personnel to man it nor a good fire tender to quench fires in the event of an outbreak.
Though the main cause of the fire outbreak was not known, eyewitness accounts suggested that it might have been caused by a welder who was working in one of the stores that was stocked with Latex Foam mattresses.
According to the group, since there was no fire tender or personnel in the area, the people had to call for fire tenders from Asankragwaa and Bogoso – about 30 minutes’ drive to Wassa Akropong – to bring the fire under control.
Frederick Kumah, in-charge of operations of the youth group, said that about five stores and parts of the Wasa Akropong post office were razed down by the inferno.
He indicated that even though the residents tried to quench the blaze, the flames were so strong that only fire service personnel with fire tenders could have doused them.
“It is very sad to note that instead of building a new fire post for the people, the MP converted an old library in the area to a fire station with one fire thunder which became dysfunctional two months after arriving at Akropong,” Mr Kumah alleged.
He asserted that information reaching the youth indicated that monies meant for the construction of Wassa Akropong ultra-modern market and fire post had been misappropriated.
He lamented “The area lacks portable water. More rural areas need connection to the national grid and there is massive youth unemployment. But Akropong people deserve better.”
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi