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.
He told a news conference late Monday. 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.
Director Dickson said 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.
According to him, the materials used for the construction of the facility which got destroyed by the fire, were substandard. It was built in 1999.
He said that on the night of the fire out break all 35 residents were on the campus. But 31 was present that night. Out of that, those who survived in addition to the Emma family were 11, which brings the number of survivors to 15.
The fire started in the roof of the building. Their investigation established that there was a motorbike in the corridor that had gasoline in it; a situation which also affected the incident.
The total number was 46 persons, but residents in the building at the time of the mishap, the Emma family and the total students and their teachers, was 35 persons.
When the students noticed that there was fire in the roof of the building, they all ran to the back of the house, but there was no exit route. The building had one entrance.
“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,” he said.
“They ran through the fire and were burned severely, but because of their bravery they saved their lives,” Col. Dickson said. He made reference to those who survived.
Samples were sent to both USA and Ghana for further investigation before the report was released. The current was not provided by the Liberia Electricity Corporation, rather a private operator. TNR