General News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
A warehouse belonging to the Northern Regional Rural Integrated Programme (NORRIP) in Tamale was yesterday destroyed by fire.
The cause of the fire, which was said to have begun at about 1:45 p.m. yesterday, is yet to be established.
However, items destroyed at the facility included vulcanising machines, wielding machines, car spare parts, refrigerators, mattresses, beds, furniture, pumping machines, air filters, and four 20-footer containers containing varied household items.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the acting Programme Manager of NORRIP, Mr Henry Ankrah, said his attention was drawn to the fire at about 2 p.m. by some staff members at the United Nations (UN) offices, which was close to the warehouse.
He said when he heard about the fire incident, he quickly called personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).
However, he said, it took the personnel from the fire service between 30 to 40 minutes to arrive at the scene.
Mr Ankrah said the warehouse contained various compartments, including a base for servicing vehicles, workshop, offices, stationery, a changing room, noting that everything in the facility had been destroyed by the fire.
The NORRIP is a government agency instituted to improve the livelihoods of the people in the Northern Region.
It was also mandated to open up the region through integrated programmes such as agriculture, health and education by strengthening the institutions responsible for those duties.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Northern Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GNFS, Assistant Divisional Officer (ADO1) Mr Nicholas Pokoo-Aikins, said the fire service was called late to the fire scene, leading to the destruction of almost the whole facility by the fire.
“They waited for the fire to grow before calling the fire service,” he said, adding: “If they had called us early, the fire wouldn’t have reached this stage.”
He said the fire service was called around 2:15 p.m., stating that when the fire service personnel got to the scene and saw the intensity of the fire, they called for other fire engines from both the Tamale Metro office and the regional headquarters.
Mr Pokoo-Aikins said because the place had no fire hydrants for the fire fighters to replenish their tankers, they had to move to the regional office to replenish their tanks.
“There is no fire hydrant around this enclave but we have institutions such as the Barclays Bank, Ecobank, Volta River Authority (VRA) and United Nations (UN) offices all located around this place,” he said.
He has, therefore, admonished the institutions located in the area to ensure that they fixed fire hydrants in order to aid the fire service to replenish their tanks in the event of fire outbreaks.