In the early morning hours yesterday, April 12, residents of the AB Tolbert Road and ELWA Junction awoke to a terrifying blaze as fire gutted a house owned by a lady identified as Mrs. Varbah Flomo. Up to press time last night, the cause of the fire was not established, but residents blamed it on an “electric spark.”
Mrs. Flomo is a widow and petty trader who owns two buildings from which she earns a living renting to tenants.
She recalled that when she came from the bathroom she heard sounds of electric wires popping in the ceiling.
She blamed one of the renters, who she said was playing with wires mounted by the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).
“I have repeatedly warned Foday Keita to stop tampering with the LEC wires connected to my house,” Mrs. Flomo said in tears.
She told the Daily Observer that she stopped getting current from LEC over five months ago due to the Corporation’s inconsistency in providing reliable service, adding that Mr. Keita’s continued refusal to stop tampering with the wires, especially under the cover of darkness, “resulted to my nightmare as my house is no more.”
“In the fire disaster, l lost US$1,030 and many other valuables that my late husband labored for while he was alive,” Mrs. Flomo lamented, adding, “all my clothes are gone, except the one on me.”
For his part, Mr. Keita denied being around when the incident occurred yesterday.
“I was in my shop selling water, tea and other minor provisions when someone ran and called my attention to the fire outbreak,” Keita claimed.
Although he confirmed having electricity in his room, he vehemently denied the allegation of constantly playing with electric wires belonging to the LEC.
He also admitted that he and the landlady have on previous occasions had some disagreements, but not related to electricity.
“Those disagreements,” he said, “were settled and peace is between us.”
He too lost everything to the fire, adding in tears, “I left my children at home this morning and came to my shop, only to be called that the house is on fire, and I have lost all my money and belongings.”
The Madam Flomo is appealing to well-meaning Liberians, foreign residents, non-governmental organizations and others to come to her aid so that she can reconstruct her house.