Banjul inferno claims life of 3 year old boy

By MUHAMMED S. BAH

A fire outbreak which occurred on Monday, 10 October 2016, at 16A Macdonald Street in Banjul, claimed the life of Sulayman burnt-down-houseJabbie, a 3 year old boy, and burnt down 11 rooms to ashes.

Modou Lamin Jabbie, the father of the deceased child, told this reporter that the fire which started around 8pm, lasted for four hours before it was extinguished.

He said people from the neighbourhood were the first who came to help in extinguishing the fire before the arrival of the Gambia Fire and Rescue Service.

“The fire started when there was electricity blackout and everybody was sitting outside to get fresh air as it was very hot inside the houses,” disclosed Jabbie.

He explained that he was holding his son to make him sleep and later took him to bed when he fell asleep.

“While sitting outside brewing ‘ataya’ (Chinese green tea), my sister alerted me to the smell of burning plastic coming from the compound. We then rushed into the compound and found that smoke was coming out from the house,” explained Mr. Jabbie.

He said at this stage they all rushed to get water to start putting out the fire which had engulfed the whole house.

“I was confused as I heard the screams of my son inside the smoke filled house which had by now caught fire. I had to rush inside but sustained burns on my hands and head to the point that people had to pull me out of the fire as I could neither save my son nor myself,” said the grieving father.

The grieve-stricken father explained that he had lost both his son and everything that was inside the fire.

“We’re left with nothing now and the clothes we are putting on are given to us by neighbours while we are sleeping outside,” he disclosed.

He said they are appealing for assistance from government, voluntary organisations and or Good Samaritans.

Binta Bojang, mother of the deceased, could not talk to this reporter as she was shocked by the death of her three year old son.

Mr. Jabbie’s mobile phone number is 7505927.

Badou Sey, another victim of the fire outbreak, said the compound owned by his grandparents and all that was inside were burnt to ashes and is also appealing for assistance.

Mr. Sey could be reached through his mobile phone 2357121.

Relatives, friends and neighbours were seen there coming to symphatise with the family. The members of the Banjul Disaster Management Team were also seen on the ground.