General News of Wednesday, 19 July 2017
In a latest twist to Tuesday’s fire that gutted the 10th floor of Job 600, Joy News has gathered smoke alarms fitted on the floor did not work at the time of the fire outbreak.
Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak has revealed on Joy FM’s Newsnite Wednesday he was on the floor with other leadership of the House when their attention was drawn to the fire.
“The smoke detectors were not working,” he told Evans Mensah, adding they were “super lucky” to have been notified about the inferno.
Thick smoke billowed from the 10th floor of the newly furnished Job 600 building which serves as office for Members of Parliament (MPs).
The Tuesday fire reportedly started at 6pm when most MPs had gone home after the day’s business.
As a result of logistical challenges fire fighters could not go beyond 4th floor. They had to rely on the staircase to get to the 10th floor in order to quench the inferno.
After several hours of fighting, fire officers were able to contain the blaze.
The office building was furnished by the past National Democratic Congress (NDC) and commissioned in 2015 for use as office complex by the MPs.
The name of the structure – Job 600 – was conceived by Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah and executed by collapsed State Construction Corporation (SCC) for the hosting of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit in 1965.
Years after his overthrow, the structure was left to rot by successive governments. It took a $25 million loan facility by former President John Kufuor from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to have the structure renovated.
The Tuesday fire in the building is the second after an earlier one in May 2012 when it was near completion.
The incident has left lawmakers stranded because they are unable to access their offices, deputy Minority leader, James Avedzi told Joy News.
He said instead of MPs sitting to work on the business of the day, they are scattered.
But Mr Muntaka said the 12th floor building may not survive another inferno if the firefighting systems installed are not worked on.
“We were super lucky that many of us were still around to scream for fire service,” he said, adding it took more than one hour for the smoke detector on the eight floor to go off.