By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
An investigation into a recent early morning fire incident that gutted an apartment at the Carey and Gurley Streets intersection claiming the lives of eight members of a family has revealed that it was as a result of an electrical shock.
The apartment which accommodated all eight of the victims was said to have been fully barricaded with steel iron bars and gates that aided burning to death of the victims identified as Isaa, Haji, Ousman,Tarlue, Aminata,Amed Sow, AminataTulay and Ma-SatuTulay.
The Director of Press and Public Affairs at the Liberia National Fire Service, Jassah Ganyan, told this paper yesterday that there is a professional way of fighting fire and recorded that the fire incident that occurred on the fateful morning of October 10 began from the ceiling before engulfing the entire floor of the apartment.
Madam Ganyan said perhaps the residents of the apartment were all asleep and upon feeling the fire, the entire family could have survived if they had a route to escape other than the one-way entrance that had more than five iron bars with gates all locked and apparently electrified on the third floor where the victims all lived.
She said in fire science voltage cannot be mounted on a house and water poured on the fire coming out of that house especially knowing that it might have been electrical fault that sparked the fire because in every case self-protection comes first.
She said the fire service could not fight the fire from the front entrance therefore the fighters had to use the back of the building to get on top of the roof and before they could succeed, the fire had already gutted the entire apartment adding that those who survived from the same building were residing on the second floor.
She called on Liberians to investigate incidents before reaching conclusion and urged them to respect the offices of others especially when participating on talk shows because during these times, information by any medium is what the public takes seriously.
The LNFS Press Director said it does not make any one firefighter happy to loss one life to fire least to speak of eight but the building had no escape route and called on those constructing especially upstairs houses to always put in place routes for escape in times of any eventuality.