Wild fire dislodges hundreds at Kroobay community


March 5, 2019

Residents gathering the burnt zincs

Residents of Kroobay community were on Monday morning woken up by a wild fire that swept dozens of houses and rendered hundreds of families homeless.

The raging inferno, which swept through the shanty settlement, was believed to have started from the residence of one Alie Thoronka, aka ‘iPad,’ at around 2: am on Monday, 4th March, 2019.

Reports are that the inferno might have been cause by the flames of a mosquito coil put on by the gentleman.

Fueled by the Harmattan wind, proximity and nature of houses, the fire quickly moved through the makeshift structures and consumed the entire Finland community at Kroobay.

Even though no death or major injury was reported, unconfirmed reports indicated that the fire consumed businesses worth millions of Leones and burnt down up to two hundred makeshift structures.

Almost every household affected by the blaze had at least a child.

The victims said that the fire accident had reduced them to nothingness, to the extent that their next meal would now be a major challenge.

“Just Look around, everyone including children are now parking the burnt zincs to sell as scrap metal for their survival this morning,” Hassanatu Dumbuya said.

Dumbuya said she has fifteen primary school pupils under her care, adding that her husband has been on the sick bed since last December.

She narrated that she has been the breadwinner of the family trading with a meagre sum of money, which she had lost to the inferno.

“Everything-their uniforms, other school materials and all their clothes burnt down. As it is right now, what we are putting on is all we have. Everything is gone,” she cried.

Mohamed Sankoh, a father of four, was pessimistic as to whether he would be able to return those that have been attending school anytime soon.

 “Forget about the school, where are they going to sleep tonight and the day ahead? I am a man and can cope through the night in whatever condition, but what about these little ones. It’s tough to even think about it,” he said.

Meanwhile, all affected persons called on government, non-governmental organisations and philanthropists to come to their aid.

Counsellor Murray Alie Conteh said the community centre would be used to house the children until a better space is available.

He said the inferno has been the biggest disaster that has befallen the Kroobay community in recent times.

He noted that the Office of National Security was registering affected people for possible assistance, but called on other organisations and people to intervene.

Kroobay is one of the most densely populated slum communities in Sierra Leone’s capital city.