A fire incident on Duport Road early Tuesday, April 4, destroyed a six-bedroom house, resulting in the death of 13-year old Mustapha Dakel, and destruction of properties worth nearly US$30,000.
The incident also left 15 persons homeless and destitute after it destroyed “everything in the house,” according to eyewitnesses.
“I was in my room packing my drugs when my son Mustapha called me several times that there was fire in the drug store; and so I went out to see what was happening but the heavy smoke prevented me from reaching him and even taking anything out of the house,” Mrs. Dakel told the Daily Observer.
Mrs. Dakel is a Registered Nurse and works at the James N. Davies Hospital in Neezoe, Paynesville.
She said she suspected that a number of young people she claimed are addicted to harmful drugs may be responsible for the incident. But the Daily Observer could not get any confirmation of her statement because neither officers of the Liberia National Police nor the Fire Service Department visited the scene to investigate the cause of the fire.
Mrs. Dakel, however, said, “Many times I have warned some of them to not be around my children or my house. Because of that some of them have rudely reacted to my warnings and continued to move between houses here during the night hours when people are in bed.”
She said Mustapha started sleeping in the drug store after criminals broke into the store one night recently and made away with over L$100,000 and US$500 in cash and an estimated US$30,000 worth of drugs.
Mrs. Dakel said her husband, along with some men in the neighborhood, tried to save Mustapha without success.
“When I heard the noise I came out of my room with my children and could not save any of our belongings,” said Ms. Zinna Dakel, the sister of Mrs. Dakel.
Although she later revealed that there was a gallon of gasoline in the house, she maintained her lack of knowledge on what led to the fire outbreak.
The family is meanwhile calling on the government and kind hearted persons to help them resettle because they are currently in an overcrowded and unfinished house.
The family can be reached on 0770152001 for any offer of assistance.