Indian dentist died in fire which razed his apartment last Sunday
The administration of the Ganta United Methodist Hospital has disclosed that the body of Dr. Sham Sam Matthew will be flown to his home country of India within a week. The late Dr. Matthew who was working with the Methodist Hospital as a dentist, died in a fire which gutted his apartment in the hospital compound at about 11 p.m. last Sunday, September 3. The cause of the fire is yet to be established, but it is widely believed it may have been sparked off by a generator which was servicing the apartment during the time of the incident because the main power line was down.
During a press conference yesterday, the hospital administration, headed by Mr. Patrick Martor, expressed regret over the tragic incident, describing it as “depressing and hard to get over.” He said they tried and fought very hard to rescue the doctor when the alarm was raised, but the fire was too intense and blazing everywhere. Mr. Martor, in tears and disbelief, said the apartment had a fire extinguisher, but it appears that when the fire started the late Matthew was in deep sleep and before he could escape, the entire house was in flames.
The apartment has three doors, back, front and garage. The front door led to a front porch while the back and garage doors were opposite each other, but the man could not find his way out. He finally died in the bathroom, where rescuers were trying without success to force the window bars open, Martor explained.
Dr. Matthew opened the shower in order to cool himself, but a pig feet barrel filled with water and all other belongings in bathroom were completely burned. “All the keys were in the care of the doctor,” said Martor. “Usually, when there is no general electricity, the electrician would go and start the private generator for the apartment,” he said. The house is a duplex, with one Dr. Gbarmie living in the other apartment, but on that fateful night, Dr. Gbarmie was in Monrovia visiting with his family.
Meanwhile, the hospital administration has announced that the Dental Department remains open and functional, despite Dr. Matthew’s death. The remains of Dr. Matthew have been deposited at the St. Moses Funeral Home in Monrovia awaiting its repatriation to India next week.
Ganta was shocked by the breaking news of the tragic death of this Indian doctor, who many described as a humanitarian and a friendly and easy going person. One of the students attending the nursing course was seen in tears early Monday morning when the incident occurred.
“We were supposed to enter the dental class this Monday under this man. What bad news and a setback for our education!” said one Grace.