Lethargic firefighters hostile to advice, led to more losses -GN Manager
A management member of Groupe Nduom has criticized firefighters for their lethargic attitude in batting an inferno that consumed commercial properties belonging to politician and businessman Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom.
Kofi Asamoah Siaw told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday, the firefighters appeared oblivious to suggestions from managers of the facilities on how to effectively access the blazing offices.
He said in a testament to a lack of pro-activeness, the fire service personnel stood by the street to douse the flame when they could have stood at a more strategic location.
Last Saturday at about 4:45pm, fire started inside GN-owned ATV studios which is on the same compound as another GN-owned property, the Coconut Grove Hotel at Kanda in Accra.
The staff of the ATV reportedly saw fire from an air-condition and called the Kanda fire service office. They reached there within 15 minutes, Kofi Siaw noted.
At the time of their arrival, the flames were restricted to only one building, Kofi Siaw explained.
According to him, the firefighters stood on the Kanda street in front of the Coconut Grove Hotel and discharged water into the blazing TV studio.
According to him, the position of the fire officers was a distance away from the inferno, weakening the force of the pressure in liquid content meant to douse the flame.
In effect, enough water left the fire tenders but not enough reached the target.
The managers suggested that the firefighters re-direct their efforts by breaking a brick wall which stood between the firefighters and the actual blazing building.
According to him, this location would have given them better access to the blazing properties and would have allowed the firefighters to discharge the water more directly into the fire.
“They said we cannot give them those instructions,” he said the officers turned down suggestions.
They were later to do a u-turn and heed to this same suggestion after the success chances of plan A petered off, he explained.
“Finally they did what we told them to do when the fire had done a lot of damage,” he said rejecting claims that access to the burning properties was a challenge.
“What is disheartening was that, we stood there, they were doing their ‘professional job’ and we saw one building join the fire, and another, and another until about six other offices were razed down,” he regretted.
He said at a point, soldiers who had joined the fire service personnel appeared disturbed by the lethargy exhibited by the firefighters and took over the water hoses.
“They didn’t see the energy which they were fighting the blaze…even the fire fighters not all of them were properly attired to be able to confront the fire”.
The GN Groupe lost two fully-furnished studios of its media company, ATV. Kofi Siaw encouraged fire fighters to be flexible enough to combine their knowledge with suggestions from those who know the environment.