Rain and Fire in Vai Town

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Fire-fighters yesterday struggled to control a blaze that engulfed a building housing the headquarters of Fouta Corporation and T. Choithram & Sons Limited, in Vai Town on Bushrod Island, Monrovia.

There were no human casualties, officers confirmed to the Daily Observer.

The fire, according to eye-witnesses, started around 12 noon and three hours later, smoke rose out of the top of the building.
Along with the Liberia National Fire Service, there were trucks and officers from the UNMIL police (Chinese) and the National Port Authority, (NPA).
There were at least 10 UNMIL water trucks, and four Liberia National Fire Service trucks on the scene, as fire fighters frantically battled to control the blaze.
UNMIL water trucks, directed by officers, entered the building closer to the fire to enable them to extinguish the blaze and find the other source(s) of smoke coming out of the building.

Thousands of goods may have been destroyed, said onlookers. “We are still trying to control the fire and afterwards we could give the correct estimate of the kind of damage done,” a fire officer said.

He said besides damage to the building, goods owned by the companies occupying it could be in the thousands of United States dollars.
Many eye-witnesses wondered at the extent of the blaze which occurred during the heavy downpour of rain from 11 a. m. to 3 p.m. yesterday.
“This is strange because it has been raining the whole day. No one ever thought that the fire could still burn during such a downpour,” said a baffled eye witness.

Since the beginning of September, there have been heavy intermittent rainfall and yesterday’s downpour was considered to be the worst to hit the city of Monrovia and surrounding communities.

“The rains began early but stopped from time to time until around 11 a.m. when it did not let up again until around 3 p.m.” another resident said.
As the rains fell the main road from Vai Town to Clara Town was as usual flooded on one side, as cars and trucks waded through it on their way to Bushrod Island. “This happens anytime it rains on this side,” the resident added.

There was no official reaction as to the cause of the fire and the owner of the building, identified only as Fouta, could not be reached for any comment up to press time.

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