Story by: Emmanuel Amoquandoh (Gomoa Dawurampong)
Three out of a six unit girls dormitory block at the Gomoa Senior High Technical School (GSHTS), has been burnt completely by fire at Gomoa Dawurampong.
About 189 occupants of the girls’ dormitory, have been diplaced, as some of the students had their belongings completely burnt.
According to the Headmaster of the school, Mr. Anthony Jacklingo Kweku Quansah, the fire started at about 7:40pm in the evening at a time when the students were having preps.
He said, the senior house mistress, Madam Florence Esi Dickson and the assistant senior house mistress, Deborah Niiquaye, together with one male staff, Mr. Richard Assan, were watching television at the senior house mistress’ room (which is part of the dormitory), when they saw smoke coming out of the window, and quickly went to check the back of the building, since the mistress had cooked there earlier, but they found nothing there, so they came back to the room.
The smoke became so much, so they came out to check again and they found out that the smoke was coming from the adjourning room, which was the prefects’ room.
The Headmaster said, when the gate was opened, the room was full of smoke and immediately raised alarm and called on him, since the fire had escalated.
The Headmaster, Mr. Quansah called the Agona Swedru Fire Service, Mankesim Fire Service and Apam Fire Service, but Apam Fire Service failed to bring their Tender, but they called on their collegues in Winneba and they joined them to the school.
He said, it was the presence of the three (3) fire tenders that helped to put out the fire. He, however, stated that though the three fire tenders tried hard to put out the fire, it took them more than an hour to put out the fire.
Mr. Quansah said, there were no stampede nor casualties, because the masters drove all the students from the dormitory to go for preps, but the senior house mistress, Madam Florence Esi Dickson, stated that one of the students fainted upon sighting the incident and another had a minor injury, when she fell down in the wake of the rush from the classrooms. Madam Florence however stated that the two students were sent to a nearby clinic for treatment.
The Headmaster, said some people from outside wanted to take advantage of the situation and steal some properties belonging to the students, as some parents also wanted to take their wards home, but when they were hinted, they (the authourities) stopped the parents, since they cannot determine the true indentities of the parents.
The next day, after the incident the Headmaster, the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Theophilus Adu Mensah, the District Director of Education, Mrs. Florence Nkum , the Vice Board Chairman, Mr. Jacob Wellington Assan, met with all the staff of school to determine the way forward.
The Vice Board Chairman, Mr. Jacob Wellington Assan, who spoke on behalf of the the Board Chairman, Mr. Kweku Acquaah, proposed a one week break for the students to go home and come back after the period expires. This, he said would enable them to take proper decision on the matter at hand.
Officials of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), together with their boss, Mr. K. A. Ewusi-Wilson and the Deputy Regional Minister, Miss. Queenstar Pokua Sawyer, were there to check on the extent of damage.
The Headmaster, said there are two GETFUND project under construction in the school. A ten (10) unit dormitory block, one for the girls and one for the boys, but they have been abandoned by the contractor for a long time, due to luck of funds.
He, therefore, appealed to government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other corporate organizationas to come to their aid.
He stressed that if the assistance does not come in time, it would be difficult for the school to admit students for the next academic year.