“Fire Service Said No fuel So They Never Showed Up” Fire Victims Tell Women’s TV-Liberia

By: Laymah Kollie

Monrovia-February 8,2024: It was a terrifying moment for residents of London Hill Community in Congo Town Tubman Boulevard as they stood and helplessly witness the burning down of their neighbors properties to ashes.

Their efforts to calm the situation yielded no results as the responsible government arm to resolve such problem reportedly refused to turn up on grounds that they were lacking fuel.

The incident which occurred at about 12:00am Thursday morning led to the complete damage of a businessman Elvis Tamba three bedrooms house and Montserrado County Senator Saah Joseph residence in the area.

According to Elvis, his compound gutted fire on the arrival of Liberia Electricity Cooperation (LEC) 12am after it had been away for a while. The fire victim narrated that his home and lot of Senator Joseph’s home gutter fire in the same time which had their neighbors spread into two queues to calm the situation.

Elvis explained that all efforts to get workers from the Liberia National Fire Service proved fruitless as they didn’t show up even up till the time of this investigation.

“We called fire service but they told us there was no fuel so they never showed up! The same time fire was on my house, fire was also on the honorable man house.
Everything in my house burned. The clothes on me seh was given to me by neighbors. I didn’t walk out with anything!” Elvis said.

Narrating his ordeal, Businessman Elvis Tamba told WOMEN’s TV-Liberia that he went to bed earlier when there was no current in the community at the moment. According to him, moments later at about 1am Thursday morning he woke up and saw that LEC has arrived. He then turn on his AC in his room and went back to bed.

Elvis told this paper that upon lying on his bed, he noticed a strange scent in the house, of which he decided to find out.
The victim in a regretful mood stated that upon opening his room door he saw a full blast of fire that has already engulfed the sitting room and other parts of the house. He continued , “the fire has taken over the entry to the house and he had no means of escaping alongside two other kids in his home. The situation led him to forcefully penetrate the fire inorder to safe his life and the lives of his children.

“Current came about 1:00 so I woke up and decided to put my AC on. I went back to bed and after few minutes I started smelling a scent then I decided to check.
When I opened my room door the entire living room was covered with fire. I couldn’t go back inside because there was no escape route so I had to act brave and from the strength God gave me I was able to passed through the fire and forcefully opened the door”.

Also, James Harris, the guy who rescue Senator Saah Joseph from the blast of fire through the window glasses expressed frustration in fire service for not responding to the scene.

“If it was not for the grace of God Senator Saah Joseph case would have been different right now because everyone thought everything was finished based on the film of the fire. If we were depending on fire service or police by now Saah Joseph was not going to be alive. It was God using me, it wasn’t me thou because everyone was saying the man finished, he’s not alive but it was my second thought that no! we can’t give up.
Everybody was calling but fire service said they had no fuel. Infact, the Senator said he was calling but they said it was not him because how will him be in fire and be calling?”

Like others, Madam Love Farnga, a resident of the community and eye-witness to the incident told Women’s TV-Liberia that upon hearing the noise in the community, she woke up perceiving it was criminal but to her outmost surprise it was the homes of her neighbors on fire.

The lady expressed her worries about the on and off situation with electricity in the country by LEC. She blamed the damages of her community dwellers to the unstable and forceful operation of current in the area. Stressing, the refusal of Fire Service due to lack of fuel.

“I was sleeping by 12am I heard the dog barking so I thought it was criminals, so I woke up and decided to call my nearby neighbors but I kept hearing people crying fire ooo. The fire was blasting on the Senator house and we tried calling Fire Service but they never came.
I’m worried about LEC coming on and going off. It is responsible for these damages” Love Farnga stated”

However, every efforts made to speak with Authorities of Liberia National Fire Service proves fruitless as Kesselee Sumo, Operation Assistant said he was driving and wouldn’t speak to the matter.

Meanwhile, placing a call to LEC, a worker only identified as Philips (refused to provide his full identity) told Women’s TV that LEC doesn’t wire people houses.

He also mentioned that they have not received any complaint from Fire Service so they can’t make further investigation into the matter.

“LEC do not wire people homes. He’s not the only person on that pole, he’s not the only person on that line. When it is to the attention of LEC we will conduct our investigation”

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