...Female students asked to go home
Following yesterday’s fire outbreak at the girls’ dormitory of Briwa Vocational Training Institute in the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region (CR) on Thursday, all female students of the institution have been directed to go home until September 29, 2018.
The fire which started around 10am swept items like beds, students’ mattresses, chop boxes, electric irons, trunks, books, monies, dresses among others.
According to some of the affected students who spoke with ghananewsonline.com.gh‘s Kojo Ata Kakrah Abrowah (KAKA), they were in class (which is about 210 metres away from the dormitory and at the other side of the Accra Cape Coast highway) when they had information that there was smoke coming out from their rooms, so they rushed there only to realised that it was fire outbreak.
“…so when we got here, we decided to go inside to bring our items out because it was serious but we were denied entry by our teachers…..they had placed calls to the fire service though but they had not come……. in fact I went mad, looking at how our things were burning. So it was the boys students who broke through the windows of the other rooms and started bringing out some of the things because the fire had not reached those places,” one of the victims sadly narrated, adding that all her items have burnt to ashes, “sir, what I can tell you I have now is what I’m wearing……I have nothing….not even money.”
A female prefect who was also a victim told us that if the men of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) had arrived there earlier, the fire would not have swept through that rage.
She said “in fact as for calls to the fire service, we made a lot, most of our teachers called, Cape Coast and Mankessim (Abonko), yet they came late…… so i myself i don’t know what they came to do….so I blame them, if this is how they do their work then I’m sorry for this country because if they had come earlier, it [the fire] wouldn’t have spread to the top there.”
Another victim who also narrated her ordeal to the reporter amidst tears said she had her certificate, practical items, school fees and money for the term in the room “so I have nowhere to go, I don’t have even one cedi with me.”
As at the time of reaching the scene, the Central Regional Minister, Kwamina Duncan; the MCE, Kenneth Kelly Essuman and officials from the Municipal’s NADMO office had visited the grounds.
Regina Lartey, a senior House mistress of the school, told ghananewsonline.com.gh that they were having departmental heads meeting when they had the information so they quickly placed calls to the GNFS and were told by the receiver that they had had the information so their men were almost there (scene).
According to her “it took them so many minutes before arriving here and things had already gone worse…..it was our boys who used water, sand and fire extinguishers we have here to quench it and even because of the tendency of the fire, the extinguishers could not help.”
Possible cause of the outbreak
When asked what could be the cause of the disaster, the mistress said “for now we can’t tell because we don’t know what exactly has caused this, and I have some saying it’s electrical fault, but that room has no socket, we had disconnected it for some time now, so unless the fire service people finish their investigations.
Students asked to go home
On the way forward, Madam Lartey said, all the female students had been asked to go home “because my brother, look at how the building has burnt, (pointing to the building) where are they going to sleep to even spend the night, if we tell them to? So we say they should go home and report back on the 29th of this month because even if we ask them to stay, all their beds are burnt, some of them (had their) monies also burnt….they will not even get a dress to wear so in fact we are in a great mourning state.”
She called on individuals, philanthropists and other organisations to come to their aid.
Fire Service blames Speed ramps.
Adu Gyamfi Marfo, a journalist with Mankessim based radio station who is also an old student of the Institution and had arrived there to report, told KAKA that his checks from the GNFS on what caused the delay in their arrival, the officials told him it was because of the numerous speed ramps on the road.
Source: Kojo Ata Kakrah Abrowah || ghananewsonline.com.gh
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