MONROVIA, Montserrado – An early evening fire disaster on Friday, February 2 in Monrovia’s Sinkor community left 37 persons homeless and without basic needs.
The fire occurred in an area on 9th Street. The landlord of the affected houses, H. Boima Kamara, told The Bush Chicken that three of the nine houses in the yard had been damaged.
“The fire started [at] about 5:30 p.m. and quickly destroyed the six-room house, and threatened nearby houses,” Kamara said.
Amos Torkpa, one of the tenants, said five other nearby houses that were not burnt in the fire were still affected, as parts of those homes were broken down to prevent the fire from spreading.
Kamara explained that the community had been without electricity for about a month and the fire probably started with the sudden restoration of power in one of the tenant’s room, where a breaker was being kept.
“While the fire was being battled by residents in the community and the Liberia Fire Service, the street lights were flickering on and off”, he added.
Kamara said there were no human casualties but “none of the affected persons was able to recover anything.” Kamara called on community members and other philanthropic groups to assist the victims, adding that there were thousands of U.S. dollars’ worth of items destroyed in the fire.
One market woman, Jenneba Sheriff, said she lost all her belongings in the fire, including her children’s school supplies. Her 16-year-old daughter was rescued from the burning house by vigilant neighbors.
Eyewitnesses said some residents’ belongings were stolen as they tried to safeguard them from the raging fire.
Many of the 37 affected persons are now sheltering with friends in the community. Over half of the displaced persons were children.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah. Editor’s note: A previous version of this article had an incorrect date of occurrence of the fire.