Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fire guts OLA SHS dometries

Students of the Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) Senior High School in Ho, the Volta regional capital, last Tuesday escaped two separate mysterious fires that hit two of her dormitory facilities.

The cause of the fires, which started in the box rooms of two dormitory blocks of the school, is unknown.

The fire destroyed over 50 trunks and chop-boxes of students. Some of the items destroyed included text books, clothes, money, provisions, stationery and other valuables of the students.

According to sources close to the school, the fire first started at the St Joseph House at about 12:30 pm. He said they saw a carpenter of the school running towards the administration to inform them about the fire.

Not long after that, some students started running helter-skelter and screaming that there was smoke emanating from the box room of St. Joseph’s House.

The Fire Service was immediately contacted and within ten minutes they arrived at the scene. The girls were then dispersed to their various classrooms and to attend to other duties. An hour later, another smoke was discovered in the box room of the newly built GETFund Dormitory, christened St Augustine House.

Due to the timely intervention of the Fire Service, only two boxes were affected.

Preliminary investigations of the Fire Service ruled out the possibility of an electrical fault since the fire started nowhere near an electrical cable. They noted that it might either be accidental or orchestrated. They however noted that investigation was still ongoing to find the true cause of the fire.

A source however hinted to this paper that some wrapped old newspapers were found at the spot where the second fire was discovered, therefore suggesting that the newspaper might have been used to start the fire.

The emergence of the second fire raised some suspicions, which led to an emergency meeting between some members of the school’s administration, board members, regional education director, municipal chief executive and other stakeholders to find the cause and possible culprits of the fire.

This was followed by an assembly of students who were addressed by the MCE, Isaac Kodobisah, the Education Director, Gabriel Kploanyi and other members of the board.

DAILY GUIDE’s investigations also suggested that the students might have had some concerns, and thus expressed them through the fire scare.

At the assembly, the various speakers urged the students to always be of good behaviour and always consider the reputation of the school before acting. They also urged them to use appropriate quarters to voice out their problems and concerns instead of mischievous means. They also assured the students of their support and urged them to study hard.

Students affected by the fire and some members of the school’s administration who spoke to DAILY GUIDE appealed to philanthropists, donor organisations and government to come to the aid of the affected persons.

The Headmistress, Benedicta Afesi, as at press time yesterday, was tied up in a series of meetings and so could not speak on the issue.

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