Angry Man Sets House Ablaze in Nimba

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An angry man believed to be in his late 30s, last Friday set his house ablaze with four children inside in the Nimba County town bordering of Loguatuo. 

The children were rushed to Ganta Hospital, where one of them died after a few days.  Two others are in critical condition.

The actual cause of this incident is yet to be established, but reports reaching the Daily Observer say the perpetrator, Arthur Duan, got married to Rebecca Duan, 40, the children’s mother, last April.

The lady had four children by her late husband before she met Arthur Duan who also had a very young daughter.

But from the time they got married, Duan always complained that his step children were not respecting him.  As a result, there was said to have constant quarrels in their home.

Police sources quoted the wife as saying that recently the confusion in the home intensified leading her to abandon the home and sleep out.

Rebecca alleged that whenever he complained about the children’s behavior Arthur would warn that, “This whole thing will finish one day.”

On Saturday, the 25th of September, Arthur bought gasoline while his wife was out sleeping with a friend, sprinkled the gasoline on the belongings of his wife and the children, and while the children were in bed, locked the door on them. At about 1 a.m. on 26th September he set the house ablaze and fled to an unknown destination.

The screaming of the children and the blazing fire woke the residents who began some rescue efforts.  Because the door was locked, the residents found their way through the window and rescued the children, leaving behind one of them, a 12-year-old boy identified as Timothy Newah, who died instantly.  Two others, Benda Luo and Mercy Luo sustained serious injuries. The neighbors immediately rushed the children to Ganta Hospital where one of them subsequently died from his wounds. 

Police have begun a manhunt for Arthur, who is said to have fled across the border into Ivory Coast, a minute’s walk from where the incident occurred.

In another case of arson in the county last July, an elderly woman believed to be in her early 60s, reportedly set her rice kitchen, husband and herself ablaze in the remote Township of Kpartuo.

According to a family source, the lady took some petroleum products from the power saw they owned and sprinkled it around their rice kitchen at 11 p.m. on the 18th July 2014 while the husband was asleep.

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