Electric Shock Blamed For Fire Disaster At Religious School
-Nat’l Fire Service Says
The Director of the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS),Col. Alex Dickson, has disclosed that the recent fire outbreak that claimed the lives of 28 Liberians, mostly children, was caused by an electrical shock from the generator that was the source of electricity to the building.It can be recalled that on Wednesday, September 18, a total of 28 Liberians, mostly kids, died in a tragic fire disaster at a Qur’anic school outside Liberia’s capital, in Bassa Town, Paynesville.
Speaking at a press conference Monday at the headquarters of the LNFS in Monrovia, Director Dickson stated that on the night of the incident, the fire service received a call from Police Commander Victor Chilay, and the LNFS team arrived shortly thereafter at the scene by 1:02 a.m. in Paynesville Redlight.
He pointed out that the structure engulfed by the flames was built in 1999, and from the investigation of the agency there were a lot of substandard material used in building the school.
According Dickson, the total capacity of the school was about 46 persons, but residing in the building at the time of the mishap, the Emma family and the total students and their teachers, was 35 persons.
Dickson explained that on the night of the fire out break the 35 residents on the campus, 31 was present that night and out of that number, those who survived in addition to the Emma family of 11, brings the number of survivors to 15 persons.
He said the fire started in the roof of the building and the probe found that there was a motorbike in the corridor that had gasoline in it.
Dickson explained that after the students noticed that there was fire in the roof of the building, they all escaped to the back of the house where there was no exit, stating that the house had one entrance.
He said it took about ten minutes for the fire to regenerate and in 50 minutes, when the firemen received the call and after their arrival on the scene, the entire building was already engulfed by the fire.
The Fire Service boss emphasized that the students who survived, acted fast when they discovered the smoke in the first room with the fire on the two sides of the entrance, they went at the back of the building and ran through the fire.
“They ran through the fire and were burned severely, but because of their bravery they saved their lives,” Col. Dickson narrated.
He revealed that evidences were sent both to the United States and Ghana for review before coming up with the final findings, stating that after a week-long investigation they discovered that the cause of the fire was electrical shock.
Dickson noted that the supplier of the current was one Mr Fredrick K. Brown and the generator being used was 30kva.
The report was submitted to Justice Minister, Cllr. F. Musah Dean and a copy to the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel F. McGill.
President George Mannah Weah upon receiving then horrifying news of the fire incident visited the bereaved families and expressed the Government of Liberia sympathy.
He promised the families that his government would launch a thorough investigation into the matter aimed at finding the cause of the fire.