Liberia: Fire Ravages New TAFI Office Just A Few Days After Opening

It is believed that the fire was caused by electricity but a full-scale investigation is yet to be conducted

MONROVIA – TAFI, a booming transportation on-demand business in Monrovia, was gearing up for full swing operations at its new offices at the SP Filling Station at Lynch and Carey Streets in Monrovia but the dream of helping to revitalize the economy through private sector investment was hampered when fire burnt everything in the offices to ashes.

The new office got operational mid last week with the hope of taking the business to another level.

“We had just moved from 11th Street and had a very beautiful set up here. Suddenly, on Sunday, I received call that there was smoke coming from the office. In the entire filling station, only our office got burnt,” Mr. Menikpake Dumoe, CEO of TAFI told FrontPageAfrica.

He said he and his now runs TAFI from his living room.

According to Dumoe, investigation into the matter is yet to be concluded, but it is believed that fire was caused by electrical fault. He put the cost of the loss at US$20,000.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to FrontPageAfrica expressed concerns over why the management of the filling station did not turn their generator off immediately upon noticing the smoke coming from that particular office. 

“We saw the smoke coming out of that office and we alarmed. We thought they were going to turn off the generator first, instead, they were fighting to open the door. Fire Service, too, took forever to get here,” an eyewitness said.

Dumoe laments that the management of the filling station from which he is renting the office space failed to allow him see the debris of the burns before cleaning up the place. 

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica, the Manager of the filling station, Mr. Varney Sherman, could not confirm or deny allegations levelled against the SP filling station as speculations.

“All that you will hear right now is just speculations and I cannot say much until investigations are done and concluded. We expect the Liberia National Police to conduct investigation, but we would also conduct our own internal investigation after which I would be able to address any concern,” Mr. Sherman said.

Taking a break from active politics, Menikpake now runs a TAFI, an Uber styled transportation system in Liberia. The inclusion of tricycle (kehkeh) in his fleet makes his style unique and obviously very affordable.

Menipake deduced that transportation affects the lives of every Liberian and room for improvement in the sector is very large. 

He is passionate about transportation. He told FrontPageAfrica, “Transportation is one aspect of our lives that produce lot of frustration and it’s also very crucial to people’s wellbeing.” 

TAFI adds value to transportation and eliminates the frustration passengers have to go through picking the wrong vehicle. You don’t have to worry about the cop pulling the vehicle you’re riding over for inspecting of car documents and driver’s license. In most cases, the passengers are victimized – alight and find another vehicle. Of course, it’s frustrating in most cases.

So, TAFI does the background checks on vehicles in its fleet, on drivers and sets operating standards that drivers who sign up are to adhere to in order to ensure that they serve with professionalism and uphold quality customer service at all times.