Liberia: Unity Party Standard Bearer And Neighbor, Empathize with Family of Three Dead Children
MONROVIA – Former Vice president and standard Bearer of the former ruling Unity Party Joseph N. Boakai made a site visit over the weekend, at Cooper Road, Rehab where three children lost their lives as a result of a deadly house fire.
“It’s a very sad situation and especially the fact that children died as a result” Hon Boakai stated.
Upon the presidential aspirant’s arrival, Amb. Boakai took notice of the foundation being rebuilt, where the recently burnt rubble of what had remained after the fire.
“ As a neighbor, I thought it right to empathize and sympathize with the family. And also add on to whatever has already been given in hopes this will help you further build back,” he added.
An unopened envelope was handed to pastor Waikai, the father of two of the children who had died.
Four 24kg bags of Star rice was also given-to help those re-building the once burnt structure.
Amb.. Boakai had not been in the country when the fire occurred. Neighbors said had he been, they are sure he would have responded.
Amb. Boakai sat with the bereaved family and the surviving daughter, who had managed to escape from a broken window with her mother.
According to her, her deceased sister had tried to escape as well but returned back into the flaming fires to rescue her 11-year-old brother and 8-year-old neighbor.
“It’s sad to know that these children passed. But we are in prayer with you,” Hon. Boakai said.
Presently, Mr. Waikai has been assisted by community members who shared money to buy cement, sand, and rocks.
“They came together and have been rebuilding our house,” he said tearfully.
A foundation of two bathrooms, four large rooms, a larger shop and a porch has been laid so far. A contractor was seen briefly condemning the ‘gigantic’ foundation but left before this reporter could talk to him.
“My son had graduated to the fourth grade before he passed. And it’s painful when I think about them, but I’m very grateful for the help of the community,” he added.
He also furthered that District 6 representative aspirant Arthur Gortolo has also contributed.
“My family and I are very grateful for the high support since the fire, by his team,” he said.
Mr. Waikai expressed his disagreement with the Liberian Fire Services’ alleged claims that the fire was caused by an electrical fault.
“Hon. Boakai, are line did not have any issues or anything. I’m not sure why they are saying this,” he questioned.
But neighbors living in the community, as well as the caretaker residing on Mr. Waikai’s land said there had been a challenge with one of the wires attached to pastor Waikai’s pole before the fire.
“Yes, LEC came the day after the fire and removed the wires and placed new ones,” pastor Waikai added.
Seated adjacent to pastor Waikai’s house is an Orange company satellite.
According to neighbors, the tower has been there for the past 8 years or so; then, no houses were built near.
Today, pastor Waikai’s house sits close.
Meanwhile, it can be recalled that on August 2, 2022, at around 11:00 pm a man walking in front of the Waikai’s residents took notice that the side of the house was ablaze.
“Only the room where they kept their coal bags did not burn. But the fire started from the kitchen because it was already burnt before we saw the other rooms on fire,” Boscoe stated.
Residents then tried breaking the window bars in to rescue the screaming family.
“We rescued pastor Waikai’s wife and eldest daughter. The fire was too much so we could not enter,” Boscoe added.
According to him, the fire service was contacted- there was no fuel or water to help rescue the burning house-
“The fire burned until it went out by itself. The children were unrecognizable,” he added.
Three children, a 16-year-old girl, her 11-year-old brother and Bascoe’ 8-year-old son, were found burnt to death.
“Our son was like family to them; like their second son. He sometimes slept there and did everything there,” he added.
Nevertheless, citizens are advised that in case of a fire, stop everything you are doing, moving, etc and drop to the floor. Roll on your stomach and back and try to make your way to the nearest door or window for rescue. But stay down.