The alarming rate of fire disaster across the country has resulted to the loss of so many lives and property while a good number of people have been made homeless. Over the weekend in less than twenty-four hours two major fire accidents occurred in Freetown. On Saturday, three houses and properties worth millions of Leones were consumed by fire at Magazine Cut, a populous business area. On Sunday a more devastating and vicious fire accident that left over thirteen dead and dozens hospitalised in critical condition took place at the Kissy oil refinery.
Awoko’s William Freeman caught up with some members of the public and sounded their opinion on preventive measures that should be taken to avoid future re-occurrence of such a devastating disaster.
Edmond Augustine Kanu: The fact that there is an exposed fuel pipe running through a residential area makes that particular community highly vulnerable to fire accidents. I am perturbed and heartened to see people dwelling in such a potentially flammable environment, “this is unacceptable”. The company that owns the pipe should protect it with fence to keep it from sight of the public. The police need professional training on how to handle such cases because the incompetence of the police to handle a small case like that led to that mayhem.
Emmanuel Taylor: It is the responsibility of the company to protect the fuel pipe to ensure that the environment is not at risk. They should provide security to guide the area at all times rather than waiting for disaster to occur. The police should at all times be conscious of the protection of the civilian population and they should know when and how to fire tear gas.
K.M.Sankoh: People have made it a usual habit to rush to the quarry community to steal fuel from the pipe.”Poverty leads to danger”. Those who lost their lives went to find their living when they encountered their untimely death. The oil company should protect the pipe.
Francis B. Lebbie: The deed has been done but government must put measures in place to investigate the cause of the fire since the police are denying responsibility of the cause of the fire. People no longer believe the police and as a result they don’t trust them. I want the government to send soldiers to secure the oil refinery pipe. I pray that God will provide good medication for those that are hospitalised as a result of the fire accident.
Moses Kamara:I feel bad about this whole fire accident for the simple fact that it has resulted to the loss of lives and property. The police need to be trained on crisis management. The police should also know when and how to fire tear gas because it is the tear gas that led to the predicament that those victims encountered. Government should bring all those responsible to book including the very management of the oil refinery for endangering the environment by exposing the fuel pipe. I must commend the fire force extinguishing the fire.
Joseph A Sesay: It is unfortunate to hear that such disaster has led to the death of young men and women who were to be productive citizens of our nation. The blame squarely lies on the police for killing the people they were supposed to protect. I will advise that the fire force try as best as possible to get an alternative to water in fighting fire. Not all fire cases can be handled with the use of water particularly when it involves huge amount of fuel.