CALDWELL – Mr. Willie K. Williams, brother of the late Sue Williams Tokpa, who died in a house fire in Caldwell Township, said that, from what his surviving nephew told him, he believes somebody deliberately set fire to his sister’s house.
By: Mae Azango, [email protected]
Speaking via mobile while en route to a family meeting, Mr. Williams said the 12-year-old boy living with his sister claimed the fire came from the window. “Just from hearing what the boy said, I believe somebody threw that fire into my sister’s house because there were no electrical wires around the window area. I am confused because this is a big blow to the entire family. To see my family burned to death beyond recognition is too much,” said Mr. Williams.
He further stated that the young lad told him that upon seeing the fire, he called his mother, and she put them outside before trying to rescue the other children. However, by the time she returned to the hallway, the fire had already engulfed the house.
Mr. Williams also mentioned that the minor told him that neighbors had attempted to break the wall of the room where the victims were trapped with a heavy ten-pound hammer, but the wall wouldn’t yield.
Regarding whether the fire was caused by an LEC (Liberia Electricity Corporation) default, twelve-year-old Wellington Quayee, one of the fire survivors, said, “Where the fire came from, there was no electrical wire in that area, only the living room chair. I was sleeping, and I felt the heat. When I woke up to open the window, I saw the fire coming from the window area. I shouted ‘fire,’ and our mother came outside, saw the fire, and told us to open the front door while she ran to get the other people. My brother and I ran outside, but by the time our mother returned to the hallway, the fire had already taken over the whole place,” he said tearfully.
Mr. Williams said that when he arrived and saw the badly burnt bodies, they had no choice but to bury the remains of his family members on the same day, due to the condition of their bodies.
When asked if his late sister had any other children, he stated that she had an older daughter in the United States, who is the mother of one of the girls involved in the fire. There is also another daughter and a son living not far from where their mother resided before the fire incident.
The late Sue W. Tokpa and her husband Rev. Namunue Tokpa both lost their daughter, Angel Tokpa, in 2008 after she allegedly hanged herself on the shower curtain rail. However, it was reported that she had been sexually violated before her death. Her guardian, Hans Williams, and his fiancée, Mardia Pakue, were arrested as prime suspects and later found guilty of her death.
Unfortunately, Rev. Tokpa died two years after his daughter’s death and never lived to see the judgment that declared his late daughter’s guardians, Hans Williams and his fiancée Mardia Pakue, guilty of murder in 2010. In 2014, after the Supreme Court reversed the conviction and the death sentence, Hans Williams and Mardia were released from the Monrovia Central Prison and relocated to the United States the next day.