Jun 10, 2011, 2:05 PM
Fire outbreak occurred yesterday at the Gambia Red Cross building at Kanifing on Mamadi Manjang Highway.
Although there was no casualty or major destruction of property, few people trapped in the building were said to have been admitted at the nearest hospitals owing to serious suffocation from the smoked-filled building.
According to the secretary general of the Gambia Red Cross Society, Mamodou Bah, the cause of the fire was yet to be known by the time we went to press but they were able to discover that the fire started from some mattresses kept for flood victims in one of their stores.
"Though some people were taken to the nearest hospital for check-up due to the heavy smoke but no casualty was reported other than the mattresses that were burnt," he said.
He thanked the fire services, security personnel as well as the public for their concern and support.
The Gambia Red Cross Society boss added: "This is just natural phenomenon; so it is bound to happen anywhere. And despite this incident, the Gambia Red Cross will continue to serve the people as expected of us."
A Divisional Fire Commanding Officer at the Kanifing Municipality told journalists that he was disappointed that when the incident happened, no one among the occupants of the affected building called the fire services. "It was a fire officer coming from Banjul who called to inform us about the incident," he said, adding: "Fire is not something you can attack any how, but there are procedures you need to follow that's why involving the fire services in fire outbreak is crucially important."
He advised the public to be careful of the type of materials they buy for house construction, saying that in situations like this "certain materials are so sensitive that water intensifies their flame".
Speaking on behalf of the occupants of the building, the president of the Gambia Transport, Agricultural Food and Industrial Workers Union, Ousman Drammeh, said they could not tell how it started or what caused the fire.