Updated: Family of seven burnt to death

Seven people died when they got trapped in a building engulfed by fire at Worakese, Asante Mampong in the Ashanti region Friday.

The cause of the fire is immediately unknown, but the charred bodies have been deposited at Mampoase Hospital for autopsy.

Neighbours say the saw the raging fire at dawn but could not get access to the building to save the inhabitants.

Personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service were called in to bring the fire under control.

However, the seven comprising two families were found dead.

The dead have been identified as Evangelist Isaac Adu Botchwey, 46, of King Jesus House of Prayer Ministry Chapel and an Estate officer At Obuasi hospital; his four children, Pastor, 12; Mommie, 7; Papa,3; and Princess, 2. An unidentified lady and a friend Pastor Sarfo who was from Konkobi near Obuasi and visited for a church program which started yesterday evening also died.

 Preliminary investigation by the fire service suggested that the victims might have died from suffocation, TV3’s William Evans-Nkum reports.

An eyewitness told TV3 that the fire started around 12 midnight and the shouts of the victims for help attracted the attention of neighbours to the scene but they were helpless.

About five rooms were gutted by the fire.

Elizabeth, a relative to one of the deceased said a neighbor called her to wake up around 12:30am so she rushed out with her kids and saw others outside, but the whole place was dark.  

She the enquired about the whereabouts of the pastor and his family but she was told they were inside while the fire was still raging.

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The fire, according to the National Fire Service, started from the kitchen, spread through the ceiling into the various rooms. 

Fire officer Prosper Avevor from Asante Mampong ruled out an electrical fault.

He also observed that since the apartment had only one entrance which was locked, the inhabitants went and gathered in one of the rooms.

“So when the fire starts here (entrance) and you retreat, you will not be able to go back through the exit again because that is where the fire is. So all of them got cramped in the man’s bedroom, and they suffered asphyxiation,” he noted.

He said the incident would be investigated to establish the actual cause of the fire.

Story by Isaac Essel |3news.com