Several reports on the Saturday evening Coconut Grove Hotel fire have been flooding various media platforms, with a lot of them being mere unfounded speculations. However, we have taken our time to get the correct facts on what actually transpired.
It happened that on the evening of Saturday, the 22nd of April 2017, fire erupted from a section of the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel which houses the Amansan Television (ATV). Alarms were raised and all occupants of the building at that time escaped for their lives.
The Ghana Fire Service was immediately contacted and they quickly arrived the scene with two water tenders to put the raging inferno under control; and to the gratitude of all, no casualties were recorded.
What Caused the Coconut Grove Hotel Fire
A statement released by Gruope Nduom on the details of the Coconut Grove Hotel fire revealed that the inferno emanated from an air conditioner at Amansan Television (ATV) which is located on the same block with four offices of the company [Groupe Nduom]. According to the statement which was signed by Richmond Keelson, the Head of Corporate Affairs Department of Groupe Nduom, it was a staff of ATV that noticed the fire.
“Somewhere between 5:00 and 5:30 pm…staff of Amansan Television (ATV) noticed fire burning apparently from the direction of an air conditioning unit in their studio. When alarm, was raised, everyone ran to safety and an urgent call was made to the Ghana Fire Service to come and help put out the fire,” part of the statement reads.
Fire Fighters’ Struggle
The fire service really had a tough time trying to put the blazing fire off which allowed it to spread to other offices of The Groupe Nduom which are located on the same floor with the ATV studio. Although more water tenders subsequently arrived the scene to help put out the fire, minimal success was recorded in a while.
Earlier reports had it that the firefighters arrived the scene with water tenders with no water in them, making it possible for the fire to extend to every other part of the hotel, and causing gross damages.
But the Deputy Public Relations Officer for the Ghana National Fire Service, Prince Billy Anaglatey, debunked the claims, saying that 12 water tenders were dispatched to the fire scene with which the fire was put under control. Howbeit, it took the fire fighters over 3 hours to bring the fire under full control.
However, not the extent of damages speculated is what we have in reality. The statement released by The Groupe Nduom, also indicated that no other damage was recorded except for the ATV Studio and four commercial offices of The Groupe. According to the statement, “the Regency Hotel and its restaurant, guest rooms and conference facilities are intact and were not touched by the fire”.
The four commercial offices referred to in the statement comprises four subsidiary companies of The Groupe Nduom which are the GN Bank, Gold Coast Securities, Amansan TV and Business Television Africa.
The Coconut Grove Regency Hotel is owned by popular Ghanaian Businessman Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom who was the 2016 Flag bearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP). The 3-star hotel was established over two decades ago and has other branches in Obuasi and Elmina.
Nduom is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of The Nduom Group of Companies (Groupe Nduom) which comprise over 40 businesses scattered in different parts of the globe.
Paa Nduom Expresses Shock
Nduom himself has expressed shock over the extent of havoc caused by the Saturday fire, which according to him would have been managed if all the necessary fire fighting equipment were in place. The businessman lamented that a lot would have been played if the fire service played their role well.
It will be recalled that a heavy storm hit the Nduom Sports Stadium barely two weeks ago, ripping off the roof and causing other serious damages to the facility. This must be a trying time for the business mogul and his family.
Mahama Condoles with Nduom
Former President Mahama has sent across his sympathies to Groupe Nduom over the Saturday Coconut Grove Hotel fire. Mahama took to his official Facebook page to express his sadness over the incident which he described as “a major loss to our hospitality industry”. Below is a screen shot of the former president’s message to Paa Nduom and family.
Groupe Nduom has however appealed to their customers, especially those of the GN Bank and also Gold Coast Securities not to entertain fears as they have no part to play in bearing the losses of the fire. Speaking to the media on Sunday, the Head of the Groupe Nduom’s Corporate Affairs, Richard Keelson assured that all the losses will be borne by the company.
“All that we will tell our customers is that they should not panic, it has happened through no fault of anyone. There is a contingency for them for their deposits as the case may be for GN Bank and also Gold Coast Securities. If there is any liability it falls within the ambits of Groupe Nduom so nobody should be worried about it. Everything is under control,” Mr. Keelson assured.
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