Freelance journalist Steve Doito, EPA lawyer lose everything; victims appeal for help
A six-bedroom apartment, including a shop belonging to freelance journalist and current lead campaigner of Green Media Campaign Steve Doito, burned down last Sunday morning, while residents worshiped at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, which is a stone’s throw away.
According to an eye-witness, the fire started at about 10 a.m. on Sunday, February 24, 2019, when the occupants were at the church. “We made some efforts to bring the fire under control but the intensity of the fire was too much,” he said.
Although an officer of the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) admitted receiving calls about the fire, he said the LNFS does not have the capacity to respond to fire incidents.
“We were on our way to the site of the incident when our vehicle broke down in Sinkor,” the officer, who refused to identify himself, said.
Freelance journalist Doito said he was at the church with his family when reports of the fire reached him. He said he did not know that it was his compound that was on fire. It was reported the cause of the fire came from a heater that was being used by one of the residents.
“I lost everything,” Steve Doito said. His wife, Mrs. Fatu Doito, works as a manager at SKY FM.
Besides the Doito’s family of seven, Mr. Edwin Yorvos, who rented one of the apartments, also lost everything. Mr. Yorvos is a lawyer and an employee of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“I came out with the tee-shirt on my back and my laptop,” Yorvos told the Daily Observer.
The eye-witness said he called the LPRC Fire Service team, who arrived only after all was over. “They came but could not save anything,” he said.
Mr. Madison N. Doiti of the SSK Security Service is one of the victims.
“What remains is what is on me,” he said. He lost all his personal effects, like the other families, he added.
According to Yorvos, the cost of his loss is around US$20,000. He noted that the lost of the compound could be about US$75,000. While thanking God because no human being was killed, the residents have appealed to relief organizations to rush to their aid.
Mr. Doito called on the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), the National Disaster Management Team, under Executive Director Henry O. Williams, among other organizations, to come to their aid.
“We need a place for temporary accommodation, blankets, buckets, clothes, among others, to ease our discomfort,” Mr. Doito said.
Mrs. Annie Vaye Gongloe, chair-lady of the White Flowers-Congo Town Backroad Community, said her administration had set up an emergency committee to deal with the situation.
She appealed to the Liberian government, the Disaster Management Team, the Liberia National Red Cross Society, Representative Thomas P. Fallah, Congo Town Township Commissioner Hon. Mensah Suku and Montserrado County Senator Saah Joseph to come to the community’s rescue.
Meanwhile, neighbor N. McCauley Paykue, director of communications at the Ministry of Youth Sports (MoYS), arranged a temporary accommodation for the Doito family.
“We need urgent assistance for the families,” Paykue said. “This is the time Red Cross and other organizations should rush to their assistance. The situation is stressful.”