Another fire has wrecked havoc at 15 Hill Street in Freetown leaving 4 children burnt to ashes and properties worth millions of Leones destroyed. At 10:30pm Monday, the fire emanated from a kerosene lantern that fell on the bed which caused the fire to spread swallowing up the rest of the poorly structured zinc shacks (pan bodi)
According to an eye witness Mabinty Sesay who spoke to this Press, no adult was at home at the time of the fire accident and the four children were lying down on the floor. Suddenly a kerosene lantern fell on the bed which caused the fire to spread rapidly.
Waking up from slumber, the children struggled to find escape from the raging fire in the room, but
the room was locked so they were trapped inside and left to the mercy of God. It is believed that they tried to break the door down and when that proved futile they scrambled under the chairs hoping for some form of protection in their terror with their arms around themselves as the inevitable dawned upon them.
She also said that the mother of the children, Esther Obi Chucks was out of the house to accompany a close friend when the fire accident took place. Upon her return, the entire house and its nearby make shift structures were up in flames.
During the fire accident an old man tried to help save the children and broke his foot in the process and his accident proved to be for nothing as it was too late to save the children trapped inside and the fire had engulfed the entire place. It was also too late for the Fire Force to stop the inferno but nevertheless attempts were made though futile. In the process, several people were injured and most were emotionally disturbed at such a gruesome sight.
City Mayor Herbert Williams was shocked and emotionally moved when he visited the scene .Eye witnesses vividly explained about the fire disaster and its consequences to the inhabitants particularly Pastor Obi Chucks and wife who lost every thing including their children.
The Mayor promised to make a follow up contact with the family so as to find ways and means on how to render emergency humanitarian assistance to the affected residents considering the fact that they are within his municipality and tax system.
The mayor was not able to tour the burnt house but stood in front of the room where the children had burnt to death as he was in full grief and sympathy, tears was in his eyes started and he stopped the old woman narrating the story.
He struggled with his emotions as onlookers pointed to the room where the children perished. Others were in tears holding their heads and chests. The scene is devastating with burnt out belongings including generators, clothes, and household utensils entangled in zinc scattered every where.
The recent fire disasters in the country has left untold suffering on the people, it is only hoped that the council, Government and humanitarian organizations would render emergency humanitarian assistance to the victims of the fire disaster. Bodies of the deceased are at the Connaught mortuary. The big question now is, ‘’ How does one get through such a tragedy?