Liberia: Fire Scalds Major Public Hospital in Paynesville City


Paynesville – A fire incident on Tuesday morning left serious damage on Benson Hospital, a popular free service health facility, located in Paynesville city.

Report by Alpha Daffae Senkpeni, [email protected]

The fire, according to eyewitnesses, started from the top floor of the three-storey building around 9:00 am, forcing patients and staffs to evacuate in panic.

There have been no injury reported so far, and a FrontPage Africa reporter on the scene inquired from staffs that all the patients were safely evacuated while the fire spread.

One staff said there were no patients on the top floor, which is basically the administrative wing of the facility.

Hundreds of onlookers steered in disbelief as the fire intensified, consuming the roof of the building.

Hundreds of young men then joined together to partially put off the blaze. They were seen throwing sachets of water at the fire.

It was a manual effort, but it helped eased the spread of the blaze to other annexes of the facility.

The Liberia Fire Service arrived more than an hour later, prompting anger from community members, who were seeing jeering.

One of the staff said the damage wouldn’t have worsened had the fire service arrived within 30 minutes after the call was placed to them.

It is unclear how the fire started, but one doctor who asked not to be named said it might have been a result of an electrical fault.

Benson Hospital is a major public health facility providing free medical services to residents within its densely populated catchment.

“The problem now is that all of our things we use, the documents and medicine are all up there finished burning,” said a staff.

He added that it will be “very dangerous” for the communities seeking health care at the hospital if the facility is not back on track soon.

“We see many patients here and 90% of those patients will be seriously affected if the hospital does not resume operations the soonest.”

The damage done by the fire has not been assessed but some of the staff said equipment damaged by the fire are very expensive and may take time to replace.