By Victor C. Hanson, Jr
The William Booth High School on Pipeline Road in Paynesville which operates under the Salvation Army School System was gutted by fire yesterday leaving many people speculating the cause of the fire outbreak.
The news of the fire at the school was received with dismay as people stood in disbelief for a school building that houses about 900 students was gutted by fire when there was nothing to cause such fire.
Our reporter who visited the scene said many of those who gathered to take a glance of the incident believed that, that might have been an arson attack on the building.
It was gathered that there was no electricity during the time of the incident and that there was no burning object to have caused the fire. However others believed that, that might have been the result of internal wrangling.
As for authorities of the school, they too have not been able to establish the cause of the incident.
The Director of Education for Salvation Army, David Massaquoi, Sr. in an interview with the press also expressed concern over the incident and said that the matter is being investigated.
Sensing that, that might have been an arson attack, the director condemned the act and said that they have burnt the school, but Salvation Army still lives on and would build more schools.
On whether there had been any internal wrangling, Director Massaquoi refuted that and said that such a situation had never occurred at the school.
He said the administration will do everything possible to ensure that its students get back to school as soon as possible and what has happened will not stop the school from functioning.
Mr. Massaquoi added, “The school has had lots of enrollments; it is first come first served, even though lots of students like the morning section, I do not believe students could have done this because there have been no confrontation from students and no student has ever raised contention while he or she is not in the section of their choice”.
He expressed some frustration and disappointment in the country’s National Fire Service Agency for not being able to go to their rescue and acknowledged the police for their role played and hoped for a speedy investigation.
Mr. Massaquoi said, “As we are in a decentralization period Fire Service Agency must be given much attention to avoid future embarrassment and frustration for citizens and others residing in the country”.
For his part, a student of the Williams Booth High School, Darlington Jackson said, “Even though the administration is feeling hurt, I, as a student feel more hurt”.
Student Jackson expressed how disappointed he was after staying out of school for a while due to the Ebola crisis in the country and now that he is supposed to go back to school, he is again faced with another impediment.
He concluded by calling on the school administration to speed up the process so that students can get back to school.