Chief Fire Officer Nazir Ahmad Alie Kamanda-Bongay of the National Fire Force has testified about the recent fire incidents at Electrical Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) Head Office in Freetown, on 16th January 2016.
During preliminary investigations on Wednesday 16th February 2016 at Magistrate Court No 1, the Chief Fire Officer said “According to investigations we observed that on Friday 15th January 2016 there was report of electrical mal-functions and repairs on 3rd floor of the electricity building prior to the incident on 16th January 2016”.
Kamanda-Bongay informed the court that part of their investigations also revealed that the electricity building has been having mysterious electrical problems noting that electrical current was flowing on 3rd floor at the time of the incidents.
In the early hours of Saturday 16th January, “I received radio communication about a fire outbreak at the EDSA building and immediately I rushed to the scene to help contain the fire. On arrival I observed the 3rd floor of the building was on fire with thick cloud of smoke and fire operational officers were battling to extinguish the fire and we had 15 hours of heavy fire battle” he further explained.
After the fire had been contained the Chief Fire Officer said his office conducted an investigation, which after conclusion was submitted to the head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
However during interview with personnel of EDSA, it was disclosed that the store keeper Moses Alieu Lansana (accused) went into the store in the morning hours of the incident and placed three switches on, closed the main door to the store and went out.
He maintained that “It is reasonable to assume that the fire started from the store and during the fire fight the key to the main store was not available because it is only the store keeper that has access to that particular key and he was not around while they tried to break into the store to contain the fire”.
The matter was adjourned to 25th February 2016 for cross examination by defense counsel C F Edwards and Co and the accused was granted bail due to his health conditions but is yet to fulfil his bail.