A fire disaster affected two warehouses on Water Street on Wednesday, 12 December, not too far from the Police Depot near Slipway Community.The cause of the fire was not established immediately. The Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS), backed by the Liberia National Police (LNP) responded to the incident.
Eyewitnesses attribute the fire disaster to electrical problem, but there was no official account up to press time.The fire service, police and the Roberts International Airport (RIA) fire departments all deployed their water tanks to help extinguish the fire.
Witnesses say newly imported materials including clothes and slippers were destroyed by the fire in the affected warehouses, and the incident occurs at a time businesses here are importing goods to trade for the festive seasons.
According to eyewitnesses, the fire started from one of the warehouses on the ground floor of the burnt apartment before spreading to other parts of the building.The fire made its way through the windows and partly affected portion of the roof of a nearby building.
As firefighters struggle to contain the situation, store owners whose businesses are attached to the building that hosts the affected warehouses horridly ran into their stores and began transferring their goods including clothes and other general merchandise to nearby facilities.
The caretaker of the structure involved in the fire incident says he was upstairs when he saw smoke coming from the direction of one of the warehouses.The caretaker who fails to disclose his name could not say what caused the fire.Upon their arrival on the fire scene, the Chinese nationals that are operating the warehouses broke down in tears.
Hundreds of people ran helter-skelter while suspected criminals made attempts to steal goods during the incident.But the presence of armed officers from the Emergency Response Unite (ERU) of the Liberia National Police (LNP) had prevented suspected criminals from looting.
A middle aged man was apprehended by several Fula nationals after he tried to escape with clothings that he allegedly stole from a Fula store.There was no report of casualty observed. LNFS authorities say they will speak to the issue following investigation.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Edited by Winston W. Parley