March 6, 2015 By Ibrahim Jaffa Condeh
Some fifty-eight houses in M’bokie village in the Bonthe District were last week set ablaze and properties worth millions of Leones destroyed, according to Mayor of Bonthe municipality, His Worship Layemin Joe Sandi.
In an exclusive interview with Concord Times, Mayor Sandi said one Abdulai Bassie alias ‘Maada Bio’ and his family left the village for their farm, and while away, his house – which contained a tiger generator, television, DVD player, five bags of imported rice, and an unspecified amount of money – caught fire.
“The fire overpowered the few enthusiastic men that were in the town at the time of the incident, leaving behind fifty-eight houses burnt down to ashes,” Mayor Sandi said.
He said the mysterious fire was first spotted by some women who were alerted to the disaster by a huge smoke billowing from the roof. He, however, revealed that residents of M’bokie village use Chinese light and not local kerosene lamp which are highly flammable.
A relative of Abdulai Bassie, Mariama Benya, said in tears that rescuers on the scene were overwhelmed by the huge fire and unable to retrieve any property.
“The Paramount Chief of Sittia Chiefdom reported the matter to the Mayor of Bonthe municipality and other stakeholders for their immediate intervention into the ugly fire disaster,” she told this reporter and called on non-governmental organisations and well-wishers for urgent assistant.
Paramount Chief of Sittia Chiefdom, Thomas Jusu Lahai Kpanabom III, has consoled victims of the blaze and promised to lobby the district council, government and non-governmental organisations to provide relief to his people.
Also, a disconsolate victim of the fire accident, Fatmata Bah, appealed for urgent assistance from governmental and non-governmental groups by providing them with tarpaulins, blankets and startup kits to restart life.