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General News of Monday, 24 April 2017


Regency fire: Hotel staff dialled wrong number – GNFS

The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Billy Anaglate, has said workers of Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra who were present during the fire outbreak on Saturday April 22 called the police helpline 191, instead of the Fire Service’s 192 and 999.

According to him, it was for this reason that workers of the hotel could not reach the firefighters in time to inform them about the situation.

The hotel, owned by businessman and politician Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, caught fire and destroyed several items. No one was hurt in the inferno.

Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Monday April 24, Mr Anaglate said: “If we look at what happened at Coconut Grove Hotel yesterday, we had a call at 17:21 hours and we got there in less than three minutes, only to realise that we needed an assistance to fight the fire.

“Our information gathered and the investigation conducted since yesterday and today reveal that the people called us barely 25 minutes after they discovered the fire. Not even the people that were working there informed the Fire Service; it was a taxi driver who was driving past and saw the fire who drove to our Fire Service headquarters.

“Based on that we dispatched a tender that got there in less than three minutes. So within that 25 minutes that the people saw the fire, why couldn’t anyone of them call? They claim they called the Fire Service, but I asked the one what time he called and he said he was calling but could not get through to our office. I asked again: ‘Which number were you calling?’ and he told me 191. Meanwhile, 191 is not Fire Service number; 191 does not come to Fire Service.”

But reacting to these comments on the same programme, Richmond Keelson, Corporate Affairs Manager of Groupe Nduom, said: “This is a lie of the highest degree. My assistant…who was in one of the offices at the time the incident happened quickly moved down the building to call them and there were about six people who were also calling the Fire Service. Michael got in touch with them and told them what was happening and so it cannot be true that the callers called 191.

“It is also not true that it took them three minutes to get to the scene – it took them about 20 minutes. Billy Anaglate is gaining notoriety as a liar and he has to be very careful, because you can’t come and say things like that. We are dealing with human life and properties, so why will he come and lie. …Public relations is not about lying, it is about telling facts.”