Fire Destroys Six-Bedroom House

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Debris of the six-bedroom house in Zayzay Community (front view)

Caused by mosquito coil, says house owner

By Tina S. Mehnpaine

Moses Kollie (not Labor Minister), owner of a six-bedroom house in the Zayzay Community in Paynesville, is now in serious distress following the burning of his only dwelling place that freed him from being a tenant.

The house, which he and his siblings inherited from their parents, was gutted by fire on the Saturday, September 19 at about 10 p.m., consuming all the household materials; putting Kollie not only under obligation to buy new materials but to find another place to rent or rebuild the house while living in a congested room with family members again.

Explaining his ordeal to the Daily Observer following the incident, Mr. Kollie said the cause of the fire came from a lit mosquito coil left by one of his tenants who had gone out of his room to watch a European football game.  

With zinc sheets packed to the size, the fire left only two walls on the structure standing.

While attempting to get out after hearing people shout, “Fire, fire, fire,” Mr. Kollie said he came and met the fire raging uncontrollably. “Thank God the two children of the tenant were rescued from the fire though they sustained burns and are undergoing treatment at the hospital,” he said.

“I have talked about this mosquito coil and current business many times, but my advice has been ignored by the tenants in this house, and as it is the case, the house is not for me alone but my siblings because it is a property we inherited from our parents,” he stressed in grief.

Kollie said he is jobless and has nowhere to turn to get money to rebuild the house that has been in his care and, rather than being in the position to help others now, he is asking them to help him with zinc, nails, planks and other building materials to rebuild his abode. 

Tetee Johnson, a tenant and victim of the fire, is also frustrated that someone could be so intransigent to bring setback to other people as a result of their negligence.  According to Tetee, tenants in the house had been warned several times to avoid lighting mosquito coils or at least manage it properly to avoid destruction like what has happened, but they have refused to obey, thus leading all of them to go homeless, with all their belongings lost. 

Moses Kollie lost his entire house to a fire started from a mosquito coil left unattended by a tenant who went out to watch a football match.

She said though the fire did not take away her life or the lives of her families, the incident is a slap in her face; stressing that she had L$50,000 in keeping for her friend and the fire destroyed it.  This means that if her friend does not show her sympathy, she is compelled to find $50,000 in addition to what she needs to find a new house to rent.

In the Liberian colloquial, Tetee lamented and said: “Aaay ley people susu money ooo, how am I going to pay back? I lost everything in the fire.” 

She added: “Nowadays people do not care about what someone is going through. People will definitely start requesting for their money and I don’t have anywhere to get the money.”

It may be recalled that since January this year, there have been several reports about fire disasters in Montserrado County. It was based on the numerous incidents that the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) thought it was important to take precaution by launching the Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy to curtail fire incidents across the country.

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