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Chief Fire Officer Testifies in EDSA inferno matter

January 10, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Nazir Ahmad Alie Kamanda-Bongay, Chief Fire Officer of the National Fire Force Sierra Leone, (yesterday January, 9th 2018), testified at the Freetown High Court about the causes of the fire outbreak at Electricity House on Siaka Steven Street in Freetown.

The inferno, which took place on 16th January, 2016, saw a store-keeper of Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) – Moses Alieu Lansana, charged to court with one count of arson contrary to section 5 of the Malicious Damage Act of 1861.

State prosecutor, A.K Sesay, alleges that the accused on 16th January, 2016, in Freetown, did set fire to the third floor of the Electricity House.

In his testimony before Justice Monfred Momoh Sesay, Kamanda-Bongay said at around 10:10a.m on Saturday, 16th January, 2016, he  received information about a fire outbreak at the Electricity House and immediately rushed to the scene with a team of fire fighters to help contain the fire.

“On our arrival at the scene, we noticed that the 3rd floor of the Electricity House was on fire with thick cloud of smoke. The fire fighters were battling to extinguish it which they succeeded after 13 hours of heavy fire battle,” he told the court.

He added that they mounted an investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire and their investigations revealed that the fire started in the store of EDSA which was storing eleven thousand three hundred and twenty (11,320) metres.

He said the investigation further revealed that Electricity House continues to have mysterious arson, noting that there was an electrical current flowing on 3rd floor at the time of the incident
He said during the cause of the investigation, he interviewed the accused at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters on Pademba Road and also interviewed personnel of EDSA, revealing that the Storekeeper- Moses Alieu Lansana (accused) went into the store in the morning hours of the incident and placed three switches on, closed the main door to the store and went out.

Matter was adjourned to Tuesday January 16th 2018.