Monrovia - President Ellen Johnson Tuesday evening escaped another fire incident at her Foreign Ministry office after fire attack the 4th and 5th floor of the building.
The office of the President has over the past ten (10) years been on the 5th floor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since she escaped the first fire incident in July 2006. The President was reportedly evacuated from her Foreign Ministry office to allow members of the Liberia National Fire Service and the National Port Authority fire fighters to fight a fire that gutted the building. Social media speculation ignited a variation of theories with some suggesting that the blaze was an attempt to Rask Force evidence into the Global Witness Bribery allegations which hit the wrong floor. One source said the fire hit just below Rask Force Chairman Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa’s office. The minister was evacuated by Executive Protective Services (EPS) to Task Force operational headquarters unharmed. A source said firefighters had to breach the minister’s office because the smoke had now reached it although no evidence was there, according to a source, speaking on condition of anonymity. Tuesday’s incident brought back memories of a July 26, 2006 fire which broke out on the fourth floor of the Executive Mansion as President Sirleaf was about to host a gathering of visiting West African Presidents. The leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone were there when the fire broke out, but escaped unharmed. No injuries were reported but the blaze marred Independence Day celebrations. The blaze came just after the President switched on generator-powered street lights in Monrovia, which has lacked electricity for 15 years. Tuesday incident is the second fire attack since the Liberian leader took office in 2006. The President left her office unharmed as it happened in 2006. Fire fighters who had gone to put the situation under control told a FrontPageAfrica reporter on the scene that there was no major effect caused by the fire. Fire Service Commander on the scene, Alex G. Smith explained that the cause of the fire appeared to be an electrical shock from the Lonestar Cell control room outside the building. Mr. Smith said the fire attack the 4th floor before extending to the 5th floor where the President office is situated. “No major got damage, only the floor and the roof including the control panel, the fire attacked the 4th floor and the 5th floor of the building but everything is under control as speak,” he noted. Mr. Smith said he could not speak for the Foreign Ministry or the office of the President, saying the foreign ministry will be the right people to give the value of property damaged. It is not clear as to whether the President will continue using the office since her second office is now been attacked again by fire. Edwin G. Genoway, Jr edwin.genoway@frontpageonline