By Diedre S Tarwo & Dudu M.Kamara
MONROVIA, April 10 (LINA) – A fire outbreak on Wednesday in the Smythe Road Community (Old Road, Sinkor) has resulted to the death of a 72 year-old visually impaired man identified as Alexander Zoegar.
Elijah Grimes, one of the victims of the fire disaster, told the Liberia News Agency (LINA) following the incident that the fire was allegedly caused by a anti-mosquito coil that was lit in the room of the deceased that set some materials ablaze while he was asleep.
Grimes said the fire incident occurred at about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday.
He told LINA that he heard sounds from the victim’s room and later noticed that it was ‘Pa Zoegar’ (as the deceased was affectionately called) who was making movements apparently struggling to escape due to the flame and smoke in his room.
Grimes said he then woke up to inquire but to his dismay noticed a huge fire emanating from the old man’s room.
Upon seeing the flames, Grimes said he raised an alarm, waking up other occupants of the house as well as neighbors.
The house, which contains 18 bedrooms, was occupied by several families from diverse backgrounds who were all affected by the fire as their personal belongings got destroyed by the blaze, Grimes informed LINA.
When contacted, the Public Affairs Office of the Liberia National Police told LINA that the body of Alexander Zoegar, which was burned beyond recognition, was turned over to the family of the deceased, while police investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the incident.
Meanwhile, the Director of the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS), Alex Dickson, said that his team received a call during the fire outbreak and immediately went to the scene.
Dixon also told LINA that after firemen extinguished the flames, they then commissioned a final check that revealed the remains of the deceased (Alexander Zoegar) under the rubbles.
Recently, there have been series of fire outbreaks in and around Monrovia, with the most recent being the Popo Beach, New Kru Town incident where over 20 homes were ravaged by fire.
Local media also reported other fire incidents, one of which occurred in the Duport Road, Paynesville area.
Amidst the frequency of fire disasters, the LNFS boss told LINA that the entity will soon embark on a nationwide awareness aimed at preventing fire outbreaks in the country.