KAKATA, Margibi-MT- An early Sunday morning fire outbreak at the government-run C.H Rennie referral hospital caused a serious pandemonium as patients on their sickbeds and their relatives struggle for survival as the blazing fire engulfed the health facility.
According to eye witnesses’ accounts, the blazing fire emerged in the ceiling of the right-wing of the facility that hosts much of the hospital’s records.
Patients who were admitted to the hospital were evacuated and immediately transferred to the Barkolleh Health Center in Kakata.
No report of human casualty so far, but the emergency response room, Pharmacy, records room, and administrative offices were all destroyed by the fire.
Despite efforts to contact the Liberia National Fire Service for prompt response to end the engaging fire, all efforts proved futile.
It was a classic display of patriotism and love for the Country, as scores of citizens trooped in to extinguish the fire from rapidly spreading.
They were seen using bare hands and water buckets including mixture sands in a bid to off the fire.
Minutes after citizens curb the blazing fire, a fire tanker belonging to Firestone Liberia was seriously resisted entry by the crowd furiously shouting “we don’t need fire service” as some disgruntled members of the crowd beginning throwing stones at the fire truck
Peter Flomo a commercial driver said he has to abort his trip to Monrovia and parked his car to join other young people to quench the blazing fire, as a result, he sustained a wide cut in his left hand.
“As you can see the deep cut in my hand, I had to park my car and run here when I heard the hospital where my father worked was on fire” he noted.
Meanwhile, following a joint emergency meeting including the county Legislative Caucus and health authorities at the compound of the facility a decision was reached to shut show the hospital for the period of one week.
Margibi County Representative Ellen Attoh-Wreh who is Co-Chair of the Margibi Legislative Caucus said the closure will allow the team to access the level of damaged done on the facilities.
For now, the hospital will be closed for the period of one week to give them the chance to assess to tell us how long it going to take for the reconstruction of the hospital.
She described the burning of the hospital as a heartbreaking and serious setback to the healthcare delivery system of the county.
“I was confused when people called me and said fire, I mean I was so broken” she noted
Madam Wreh said the caucus along with the county administration and the Liberian Government will work collectively to reconstruct the damaged facilities.
She lauded the people of the county for the rapid response to ensure that the fire was curbing.
“I want to use this medium to say thanks to the people of Margibi, I saw what they did. I think it brought some level of relief to me, to see everybody coming together to curb the fire, we are also grateful that there was no loss of lives” she noted
According to Representative Ellen Attoh-Wreh, assessment works are being done on the facility by the Caucus along with Government to ensure that a modern building is erected to meet international standards.
Established in the 1970s, the CH Rennie does not only provide health services to the people of Margibi but entire Liberia.
Meanwhile, President George Weah on Tuesday paid a working visit to Kakata to access the level of damage done on the C.H Rennie hospital as he assured the government commitment to restoring the public health facility in the soonest possible time.
“The hospital has been saving lives, we have to do our best to get it running, it is an emergency, we going to our meeting to start working right away to bring the hospital back and running” Weah noted.
Weah maintained that an emergency cabinet meeting will derive a solution to get the hospital running as he called on the collective efforts of all stakeholders especially those in the legislature to do the necessary budgetary allocation to rebuild the hospital.