Dansoman neighbors of the SDA pastor who lost his entire family in Sunday’s fire outbreak, have given a chilling and disturbing account of the incident that led to the fatalities.
They also blamed the National Fire Service for responding late to such an emergency situation.
Pastor Ato Kessie of the Dansoman branch of the Seventh Day Adventist Church lost his wife,Linda Kessie, 30, his three children: Precious Pokua, 9; a 4-year-old child and a barely two weeks old baby boy. His mother-in-law Grace Ampah, 65 also died in the inferno at their home in Dansoman.
The late wife, Linda Kessie, was a lecturer at the Valley View University.
According to the residents, they heard the victims screaming for help in the raging fire at dawn on August 19, 2018.
“We were hearing them scream for help. We tried all we could but couldn’t help them. We called and called the fire service but they appeared so late,” Madam Margaret Galley, a next door neighbor told 3news.com.
Meanwhile, the Ghana National Fire Service have debunked claims that they delayed in getting to the fire scene.
Some residents also noted that efforts by the victims to get out of the building were thwarted by metallic bars that were used to build the house.
Meanwhile, the family and church leaders of the SDA Southern Ghana Union Conference say it’s a trying time for them and therefore called for privacy.
It was a sad mood when the news team got to the house a day after the fire outbreak.
Even though the place is cordoned off, it is evident from a distance that the structure was burnt to the roof, affecting the adjourning apartment belonging to another pastor.
The security man for the mission house Stephen Morgan also shared some fond memories of Pastor Ato kessie’s eldest son who happens to be in the same school with his son.
Another resident who is related to Linda said, “We heard about the news but we didn’t know they were our own until we saw the pictures on TV. Hmmm, how can this be? We come from the same town? Asante kramu’’.
Church members as well as friends of the family have been trooping to the family house of the Pastor Ato Kessie at Mallam to sympathize with him.
President of the SDA Southern Ghana Union Conference, Pastor Thomas Techie Ocran who spoke on behalf of the family asked the media to be circumspect in their reportage.
“We are mourning. We have a funeral at hand. Because of the hurt that the family is going through, we wish that you will grant them the privacy of this period of mourning. However, the national office of the church will provide whatever information you need”.