A midday fire disaster, which struck the Bassa Town Block ‘A’ Community, Redlight, Paynesville, yesterday destroyed a 14-bedroom house. The incident has made several occupants homeless and scattered or totally destroyed personal belongings.
No human casualty was reported, but the fire burnt almost everything, including money kept by occupants.
The cause of yesterday’s fire up to press time has not been established.
Thanks to the quick intervention of fire fighters from the Liberian National Fire Service (LNFS), who arrived on the scene quick enough to quench the fire before it began to spread to other makeshift structures nearby.
Alongside the firefighters was a handful of Police officers (LNP), who, too, were with their counterparts from the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). They were seen taking notes.
“Even though the firefighters arrived very late when the house was already burnt to ashes, they poured enough water that quenched the remaining blaze,” a victim of yesterday’s disaster, Massa Kromah, said as she searched through the charred rubble for whatever was left of her belongings.
Most of the victims are Guineans, who because of their trading activities, were out selling at various market sites in the Paynesville, Redlight Community when the incident occurred.
Manyamu Kamara, a mother of four, remembered the exact amount of US$1,000 and L$8,000 that the fire had consumed in her dwelling when she was out selling her market.
“I prepare morning ‘kalama’ (a local breakfast produced by most Mandingo women) (to sell) all around the communities, because this is how I earned the money that was burned including my other things,” lamented Ms. Kamara.
She had just returned from selling when she saw the house on fire.
Two of the house owner’s, brothers John and Alphanso Sarffo, told the Daily Observer that they individually received calls informing them that the house of their brother (not named) was on fire.
“We came rushing here to see for ourselves what has happened. For now, we cannot say how much damage the fire has cost, because most of the renters are people who are not accustomed to banking, but rather kept their money in the house,” they said in two separate interviews with this newspaper.
Although this paper gathered that the fire was caused by pieces of unquenched charcoal in a coal pot left unattended by a renter who had cooked in the hallway, the police and firefighters are yet to confirm the information as their investigation was ongoing.
Several of the renters, mainly the women had video and TV sets in their rooms, but they lost everything in the fire.
Meanwhile, the victims have appealed to the Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) and the government or any of the humanitarian organizations operating in the country to come to their aide in the shortest possible time to restore their ‘lost hope.’