Residents of Ganta have expressed outrage that the government is not doing enough to curtail fire disasters in a rural city like Ganta.
Their anger grew out of a situation involving a private car belonging to one Sam Kouh, who is a Commerce Officer. Kouh’s vehicle erupted in flames and burned to ashes in the center of Ganta, which left bystanders and passersby shocked and disappointed at the scene of the incident.
The car, maroon in color, was marked A28786 – RL. It was being driven from a local garage, where it had undergone repairs for brake failure, when it suddenly caught fire in front of the Beer Garden Hotel in the center of Ganta, mechanic Vaih Teah told the Daily Observer.
“I am so confused about this incident, because the car was brought for brake repairs; but I don’t know where this fire came from,” he said.
The vehicle was gutted at about 2 pm on Friday, March 30. However, there was no attempt by anyone or firefighters to extinguish the flames as thick clouds of smoke rose in the city center.
“Where are the fire service people for whom the government is always deducting money from people’s salaries,” said Zephaniah Gbahn, a resident.
“If this fire had extended far beyond this point, it would have been more disastrous, while people stand looking at properties get burned,” another onlooker said.
A big crowd turned up during the incident, but nobody could do anything to contain the fire; store owners hurriedly closed their stores.
A street-side seller who deals in cosmetic products lost several bottles of perfume to the flames.
Although the owner was unharmed, she expressed frustration at the government’s inability to establish a fire service center in Ganta.
“Although we pay our taxes, the government is yet to bring a fire service station here,” she said.
Officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) were present at the scene, directing the movement of people and vehicles away from the burning car.
Traffic came to a standstill until the fire died down completely.
Ganta has several modern gas stations, including NP, Total and SP. as well as Aminata, while several makeshift gas stations and street vendors can be found in and around the city. However, the lack of a fire service station, commonly known as “Fire Brigade,” has presented enormous challenges for residents, especially in the event of fire outbreaks.