Four children, three of whom were siblings, died in a fire that engulfed a three-bedroom residence at Nsunfa near Sowutuom in Accra late Monday.
The deceased were charred beyond recognition.
Three of the children had been in the care of their grandmother for the past four years until the fateful incident, suspected to have been triggered by a sudden surge in electric power when electricity was restored to the house after a power outage.
In recent times, there have been frequent power outages, which have become a source of worry to many Ghanaians. The bodies of Eugene Aidoo, 5, Lynette Brenya, 9, Freda Brenya Jnr, 6, and Fiifi Harm, 5, were burnt beyond recognition while Bismarck Arthur, a rescuer who sustained severe burns, is receiving treatment at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
According to an eyewitness, the kids were heard screaming for help at about 8.30pm but when neighbours rushed to the scene of the fire, they were not able to offer assistance immediately due to the intense heat, and even when fire-fighters finally arrived in the area, access to the house was a challenge because of careless developments along the route to the residence.
It took some 30 minutes for the fire service vehicle to arrive at the scene as a result of the obstacles on the way. ďEven when the Fire Service Personnel arrived with their fire tender, they could not get access route to the scene due to the developments in the area,Ē the witness said.
Another eyewitness said it was a Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) tanker and not a tender which arrived at the scene at a time when it was too late to really save lives.
In her narration, an obviously depressed and anguished Mabel Asante, grandmother and guardian of the siblings, told Daily Guide that she left the house at about 7:30pm, when there was a power outage, to go and see her landlord over her expired rent. She urged the kids to complete their homework quickly and go to bed early as they studied under a rechargeable lantern.
With tears in her eyes, she said, ďAs I was returning from my landlordís house, I received a phone call that my house was on fire and that my grandchildren were trapped in there.Ē The children were all dead by the time she arrived at the fire scene, she disclosed. ďMy son, who attempted to save the children was also injured and has now been admitted at the emergency ward of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. ďI only went for Eugene Aidoo Monday evening around 5:30 pm when the mother called that she would be travelling the following morning to Cape Coast,Ē she said.
She debunked claims that the fire was started by a candle, explaining that she put on a rechargeable lamp. Louisa Boakye Dankwah, the mother of Eugene Aidoo said the grandmother came to pick the grandchild that day because she was travelling the next day.
ďLess than an hour later, my mother called that my child had died in a fire,Ē she said. Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Eugene Aidoo, father of the 6-year-old child, said he was in town attending to some pressing issues when the incident occurred.
ďThatís the only child I have with my wife. They said the lights went off and when it came on the kids were sleeping. All they could see was a fire outbreak so there was nothing anyone could do. The gentleman who was in the house is my wifeís brother who just entered to save the kids.
But because the kids were scared they were unsettled and he couldnít save them. That was very unfortunate. As I was also on my way, my car broke down and no taxi was willing to go to that area because itís a mountainous area and the place is very rough so I had to do a lot of running to get to them.Ē
Freda Brenya Snr, mother of the three children who were all burnt, could not control her emotions when Daily Guide visited their house.
There was a steady flow of sympathisers and curious persons to the house. Information gathered at the scene indicated that the incident happened immediately the power was restored.
While others said the fire was due to poor wiring in the room, others also blamed ECG. Assembly member of the Sowutoum Electoral Area, Abdulah Shaibu Williams said firemen who were called to the scene could not get access to the scene because of structures constructed on the way. ďThe firemen had to park 300 meters away as they looked for access,Ē he lamented.
The commander in charge of the Odorkor District Police Command said policemen were at the scene around 11.00pm to collect the charred remains of the deceased to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
Source: Linda Tenyah/D-Guide
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