Fire Guts Businessman’s House in Ganta

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The gutted house.

An early morning fire yesterday at the Catholic Community residence of one of Nimba County’s most prominent businessmen, Paul Zorpeawon, has left several homeless.

According to reports, 20 individuals inhabiting the building lost all their possessions and left them displaced.

“No people or animals were injured in the fire,” a neighbor who helped to extinguish the blaze told the Daily Observer shortly after the incident was reported to the police.

Up to press time last night, no one was able to state what exactly caused the fire, although power and utilities had been cut and police investigators had joined locals to determine the cause of the blaze, a source said.

Meanwhile, some of the displaced occupants sought shelter in some of their neighbors’ apartments, while others were housed nearby in the St. Lawrence Catholic School facility.

They include many who lost everything to the fire.

The fire was first reported at 12:30 a.m., a source said. Six hours later, crews of ‘rescuers’ were still extinguishing hotspots in the building.

The back of Zorpeawon’s house, where the boys lived

According to Zorpeawon, shortly after the fire started it had already engulfed the entire building leaving the occupants running helter-skelter without retrieving any of their personal belongings.

“By half past midnight, occupants in the boys’ apartment, attached to the main unit, frantically woke me up to say that the house was on fire,” Zorpeawon said.

After he had  awaken up and made his way outside, he said he observed that the entire house was in flames, but could not ascertain where or how the fire had started.

Zorpeawon said he first blamed the fire on an electrical fault, “but that was not the case, because I had quickly switched off the breaker.” He added that power supply was still available to other houses in the community at the time.

Apart from the walls, the four bedroom house was burnt to ashes. Also, a vehicle, two motorbikes, a 5kva generator as well as all household materials and a goods intended for a mini-shop attached to the house were lost to the flames.

It can be recalled that in 2005, Zorpeawon’s business center with the service name – “His Grace Business Center” on the main street of Ganta was gutted by a violent fire, during which he lost all the goods in stock.

Meanwhile, the pastor of the United Liberia Inland Church, Reverend John G. Troseh, has called on each member of the Christian Community and well-wishers to help the affected family to rebuild their lives.

Paul Zorpeawon is also a member of the church.

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