All the furniture and household belongings of Kaddijatou Bah, the owner of the two houses, have been consumed by the fire.
She explained that she stays with her 15 year old daughter, Ejatou Jallow, and a son, but that none of them were in the house at the time of the fire incident. She said she went to Nema Nasiru with his son on that Saturday night to sell fruits, groundnuts and other foodstuff.
“I went early to Nema Nasirr on Saturday where there was a ‘Gamo’ (Muslim religious gathering at night) in order to make sales. I left my daughter to sell on the highway at Tabokoto. I called her around 10pm to enquire about how she was doing with her sales. I then asked her to come over to Nema where we could sell together. We were there until around 4am when someone called my daughter to inform her about the fire incident but she decided not to tell me at that time. I eventually left the place to go home immediately after dawn and when I arrived I saw our house and everything that was in it completely destroyed by the fire,” she narrated.
Kaddijatou said they have lost cash amounting to FCFA 40,000 and D50, 000 in Gambian currency, which belong to her, and another D50, 000 belonging to her husband.
“All of my life savings and other valuable belongings have perished in the fire,” she said.
She is appealing for assistance from philanthropists and institutions.
Kaddijatou can be reached at this phone number: 7219915.
An eye witness, Assan Saidy, who is a next door neighbor, explained that the fire started around 3am.
He said a lot of neighbors within the community came out to help extinguish the fire with their buckets and containers of water. He said he was the one who contacted the Serrekunda Fire Service who arrived after 10-15 and help in extinguishing the fire.
He confirmed that everything in the house was burnt to ashes.
Speaking to the Gambia Fire and Rescue Services Public Relation Officer (PRO), Muhamadou Drammeh, he described the incident as unfortunate and a great lost to the affected family.
On the cause of the fire, he said their findings during the course of the fire fight have shown that it came from the embers of an incense pot (Andi Churai) that was in the house.
PRO Drammeh said he wanted to take the opportunity to advise people to be careful with incense pots. “Most of the fires incidents are caused by incense pots which people should use carefully or to substitute it with air fresheners or mosquito sprays for safety purposes,” he advised.
The Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson also explained another pathetic and fatal fire incident which occurred in the compound of one Mr. Christopher Belford in Lamin Sanchaba on Friday, 17 April 2015, at around 2.40 am that claimed the life of a mother, Mrs. Elina Mamy Belford, who was 38 years old, and her daughter, Zahra Secka, a 5 year old.
“The Gambia fire and rescue service is urging the general public to have the telephone numbers of all the fire stations closer to them in case of emergency. We distribute these numbers during the Fire Service Day, community and school sensitization programs and even on our weekly talk shows on the radio stations. Furthermore, I am also urging the general public to acquire quality electrical materials, hire qualified electricians and to frequently maintenance to avoid such unfortunate incidents that result in serious losses,” he further adviced.
PRO Drammeh said on behalf of the Chief Fire Officer and the entire members of the Gambia Fire Service, he is extending their condolences to the bereaved family.