Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, April 25, 2017
Interior Minister Ambrose Dery says the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is setting up an investigative body to look into the circumstances that led to the huge fire that ravaged Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom’s plush Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra.
Substantial parts of the facility, located at North Ridge, were in flames Saturday evening and there are claims that the fire continued for about three hours before it was finally overpowered by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), which head office is about 500 metres away from the hotel. The facility is part of the chain of resorts owned by the astute businessman and leader of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).
Buildings in the hotel premises that were affected by the fire house Business Television Africa (BTA), Amansan TV (ATV), GN Bank and Gold Coast Securities - all being parts of Dr. Nduom’s consortium called Groupe Nduom.
However, managers of the hotel revealed later in a statement that “The Regency Hotel and its restaurant, guest rooms and conference facilities are intact and were not touched by the fire.”
They said the inferno started from an air-conditioning facility at Amansan Television (ATV) which shares a compound with the hotel, at about 4:00 pm.
The minister of the interior and his team visited the fire scene where he later promised a thorough investigation into circumstances surrounding the fire outbreak.
Addressing journalists, the minister said President Akufo-Addo had been made aware of the incident and was very much interested in the report.
“On Monday I expect a full investigation and a report on this matter. What I heard is that Fire Service came and ran short of water, portraying a hopeless situation. I’ll want an explanation to that. They’ve given me a preliminary explanation… There will certainly be an investigation. I’ll want to hear all the complaints and hear their reaction to that,” he said.
Mr Dery added, “On Monday I’ll be asking for a report… It is a disturbing trend that these fires come and we want to be sure that we are doing our best in terms of the reaction of the Fire Service. I am quite clear that maybe we can do things better than we are doing now. I’ll like to find out what actually transpired and see what actually went wrong and what we can do to make things better.”
Dr. Nduom, through PPP Chairman, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond, was said to be “shocked” by the incident and said he believed that the extent of destruction from the fire could have been minimal if the Fire Service had been adequately resourced to deal with it when it started.
“It was a shock to all of us, the CEO of Groupe Nduom is aware of it; he has been informed. The fire department has come to do its best together with the Air Force fire department. We are now out to assess the damage…. He was shocked. In my interaction with him a few hours ago, there was a sense of shock and believes that it was something that could be avoided if the fire department was properly resourced with water and fire hydrants and all of what it takes to put out a small fire that ought not to spread to the degree it did,” Mr Brew-Hammond said.
Former President John Dramani Mahama took to social media platform, Facebook, to post some words of encouragement to Dr. Nduom and his family saying, “Yesterday’s fire at Coconut Grove Regency Hotel is a major loss to our hospitality industry. My thoughts are with Dr and Mrs Nduom and workers of Groupe Nduom.”