By Alimamy Jalloh@awokonewspaper.sl
Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Residents of the Susan’s Bay slum community, mainly women and children, have on the 9th January 2023, told Awoko that Fire overcome them in their make-shift structures during the early morning hours at almost 7 am injuring, burning valuable properties and leaving them homeless within the community.
The cause of the inferno according to an affected victim, Bailoh Barrie whose wife is pregnant, was that close to 7 am, he suddenly saw smoke entering his one-room roof. But, as he came outside, he realized that the two rooms and parlour one-story building on top of his own one-room residence was where the cause of the fire ignited. Because he was down to the next room adjacent and the fire had overcome him and his wife, they were unable to remove their property because of the huge smoke entering the room, so they immediately got out and the fire blazed.
He said in one of the rooms, where the fire started there was a woman whose husband was not around at the moment during the fire outbreak.
Abdul Karim Ansumana, one of the stakeholders in the Susan’s Bay community, disclosed also during an exclusive interview, that the main cause of the fire was as a result of a negative power interruption (bad light) on top of the one-room structure between the hours of 5 am and 7 am on Monday morning. He added that as hundreds of inhabitants inhabiting the Susan’s Bay community, he was on his way, climbing the steps from the community to go to town and do his business when he was later phoned and told about the incident.
The Fire Force was called upon he disclosed, they came and took to Malama Thomas Street during the outbreak of the fire but could not find any access road down to Susan’s Bay. Most of the youths he described use sand and seawater to help put off the inferno which burnt down many make-shift structures in the community he noted.
Mohamed Fofanah, a community resident said this was the second time this kind of fire outbreak happened. He revealed that in 2018 before the Sierra Leone general election it happened and now 2023 also. This time round he revealed, he was sleeping when he heard the sudden noise of community members shouting continuously.
The residents of the two-story block structure where the inferno broke out comprised two people (a Man and his wife) and the other structures adjacent added seven (7) inhabitants totaling nine (9).
Victims especially the women are calling for humanitarian and Government assistance and rehabilitation for them in the community. AJ/10/1/2022