Cuttington Female Dormitory In Flames

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Students running from the fire that engulfed the Rally Hall dormitory at Cuttington University

Students yet to calculate the losses

A fire broke out Friday morning in a 30-room dormitory hosting the only female students on Cuttington University (CU) main campus in Suakoko near Gbarnga, Bong County, burning everything the students had taken with them on campus.

The fire was reported about 11:25 a.m. at the female dormitory, otherwise known as “Rally Hall”, on the main campus of the university, while students were in class.

While there were no casualties, the entire facility sustained damage in the fire, which started in a unit that was filled with household items, such as mattresses, clothing and furniture, some eyewitnesses told the Daily Observer.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, according one distressed faculty member.

Cuttington University is owned and operated by the Episcopal Church in Liberia.

Cuttington University Director of Communication, Kweshi Tetteh, said the fire started from the two units containing the Upper Rally Hall before spilling over to the Lower Rally Hall.

Up to the publication of this story, the actual cause of the fire has not been established, but Tetteh told the Daily Observer the administration and the Bong County police are investigating the level of damage have invited fire investigators to investigate the cause of the fire.

However, investigation conducted by this newspaper says the fire might have been caused by “electrical faults.”

“Properties worth hundreds United States Dollars and Liberian Dollars, belonging to students, were lost in the flames, believed to have started from the Upper Rally Hall Dormitory before spilling over to the entire unit,” Tetteh revealed.

He said that there was no casualty in the conflagration, but two female students were taken to the Phebe Hospital as the result of “smoke suffocation,” though their conditions were stable.

“Some of our female students, who were in the dormitory, were forced to make their way through the dark smoke by jumping through windows for their lives,” Tetteh said.

He said about nine rooms were completely destroyed by the fire and that some community members tried without success to extinguish the flames.

“The sad thing is that the Fire Service Department in Bong County does not have “bucket,” least to talk about “vehicle” that would fight fire outbreak,” Tetteh added.

“Some of the students, who were housed in the Rally Hall Dormitory, are now forced to snooze with their friends until the administration can source funding to rehabilitate some of the dormitories at the Agriculture College,” according to Tetteh.

The fire outbreak came just days after Cuttington celebrated its 70th alumni homecoming last weekend, February 22-24, 2019, where issues concerning the development of the institution were high on the agenda.

“This is a serious setback to the university, especially when the school is faced with huge financial crisis, and students are just returning to begin the semester, a lecturer said.

“I was in class when the building was engulfed by fire. My entire belongings, including money, have been consumed by the fire,” one of the female students said in tears.

CU History

Cuttington University is a private university in Suakoko, Liberia. Founded in 1889 as Cuttington College by Episcopal Church of the United States. It is the oldest private, coeducational, four-year, degree-granting institution in sub-Saharan Africa.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, “faulty electrical wiring” may be a causal factor in this fire outbreak, considering how old these facilities are. But cooking in the dorm too, a long running “tradition” by students in those dormitories should be looked into also. I know so because I graduated from this institution and indulged that very practice.

    Another point worth considering is a national inspection of all structures both public and private in Liberia, to ensure the capacity of the electrical wirings versus present load requirements, and structural integrity of buildings, bridges, etc.

    Few years ago, for example, the MPW undertook a nationwide inspection of bridges in Liberia, following the collapse of the “waterside bridge.” Whatever happened to that exercise, in terms of its findings and the corresponding remedies, will be made known ne day. Hopefully in our lifetime. My two cents.

  2. Which one is correct? I read FrontPage Africa and it says a 100 room dormitory and now Daily Observer say 30 room.

  3. The reporter Marcus Malayea needs to stop skipping English and Composition classes. This article is full of grammatical errors. It resembles what my 6th grade daughter writes and she is only 12 years of age. Why are there no proofreaders for these articles?

  4. ‘REVOLUTION EATS ITS CHILDREN’:… EJS’s own son, Charles Sirleaf, is jailed. Will EJS remain quiet or will she react? Certain LIB FAMILIES have been targeted to be REMOVED FROM OUR HISTORY and DESTROYED! Why were the Weeks siblings lured to these lucrative positions? No long-term development plans, but long-term hateful, destructive, elimination plans. Next,..

    • You said, “Certain LIB FAMILIES have been targeted to be REMOVED FROM OUR HISTORY and DESTROYED!” Really? I disagree. What I think has been happening is that certain elite Liberian families have been stealing from the country and getting away with it because of their well-connected status. Charles Sirleaf got busted because he figured the risk of getting caught was closed to nil. Life is full of surprises and sometimes the unexpected happens and you have no control over events as in this case. Who would have thought that CBL officials would engage in this type of criminal behavior? No one. George Weah’s presidency is on the line here and the Liberian people will not allow this case to be pushed under the rug like past cases. So these alleged criminals are facing serious legal jeopardy, no doubt. With that said, and with such a corrupt system, anything can happen in Liberia. Mr. Sirleaf could not have done this alone without help from the others. They must receive a speedy trial.

    • I definitely don’t believe Mr. Weah is a competent leader but he was elected by the people and they will have to live with the consequences. However, if this incompetent government was hateful and wanted to go after corruption from EJS government, it could have hooked Robert Sirleaf and his co-conspirators for pillaging NOCAL into bankruptcy. EJS took responsibility for the crimes committed at the company because she wanted to protect her son, Robert Sirleaf from criminal liability. Weah could have still gone after those crooks but he didn’t. So your claims of hate by this government is patently false.

  5. Cuttington University is one of the oldest college in the country but that building is not fit for animal barn much less a dormitory for girls. Perhaps it was good it burned down. Now it’s time for them to build a decent building worthy of human occupation.

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