Lessee Calls for Investigation into House Burning

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A lessee of a three-bedroom house, which was gutted by fire and “completely burnt down” recently in the Paynesville 12 Houses Community, has asked authorities of the Liberian National Police (LNP), the Liberian Electricity Corporation (LEC) and the National Fire Services (NFS) to investigate the blaze.

Madam Mariama Kaba, who has just moved into the house this past February, had leased the house for one year and said lease was renewable.

She told the Observer via phone recently that on the night the house got burnt she had walked on the road (Tubman Boulevard) to get something (not specific). According to her, before she left, she instructed the security guarding the house to also look after her 10-year-old twin girls, who were in their room playing video games.

“While on the road, the security called me and told me that smoke was coming from my room. I ran home and entered the living room. When I opened my door, the whole room was filled with thick black smoke. I told everyone to get out of the house. But by then the fire had already spread to other parts of the house,” Mariama explained.

According to her, she was not able to rescue the “tons of belongings” she had in the house and all of them were burnt to ashes.

When asked about the cause(s) of the fire, she stated that she could not be certain what had caused the fire, but she could hear bystanders saying that it was the high voltage from the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), which was supplying the house with electricity.

Mariama said it was just the second week after she got connected to the LEC supply line and that the current was always “fluctuating,” meaning the current was not stable.

According to her, when the fire started, they had called the National Fire Service, “but it took forever” before they got there and when they did, “the house had already burnt to ashes.” 

No authorities from either of those agencies—LNP, LEC and NFS—could be reached for comments as their phones were either said to be switched off or rang endlessly.

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