By Jane B. Mansaray.
The Chief National Fire Officer, Mr.Nazir Ahmad Alieu Kamanda-Bongay yesterday appeared before Justice Monfred Momoh Sesay to testify in an Electricity Distribution Supply Authority (EDSA) arson matter involving an accused, Moses Allieu Lansana, storekeeper at Electricity House, third floor.
Led in evidence by State Counsel J.A.K. Sesay, the forth prosecution witness Mr. Kamanda-Bongay told the court that he recognized the accused person who he came to know at an interview conducted at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters in Freetown.
The witness said he recalled on the 16th January 2016, whilst on duty at the National Fire Headquarters at Tower Hill in Freetown at 10: am when he got a call of a fire incident at (EDSA) Head office at Siaka Stevens Street in Freetown.
Upon receiving the information, the witness said he immediately ordered fire fighters to the scene of crime. On arrival at the scene, Mr. Bongay told the court that the third floor of Electricity building had been engulfed in thick black smoke coming out of the windows.
The witness said that it took over thirteen hours to put the fire under control. After putting the fire out, Mr. Bongay said a joint investigation led by him was conducted by a team of fire officers and police detectives to establish the cause of the fire.
At the end of the investigation, the witness told the court that he wrote a detailed report on the cause of the fire at Electricity House.
The original copy of the report signed and dated on the 25th January 2016 was produced for identification and was tendered in court as exhibit.
According to the report that was read in court, the fire at Electricity House on the 16th January 2016 engulfed the third floor apartment through the store office due to electrical malfunctioning on switches allegedly put on by the accused person.
The report also observed poor electrical fittings at the building and malfunctioning of wire structures and small sparks which was a frequent occurrence at the building
The report confirmed that eleven thousand two hundred and twenty meters in the store got damaged.
The indictment states that the accused person on the above date set fire to the third floor of Electricity House in Freetown.
Lawyer D.K. Edwards is defending the accused person. Bail continues and the matter adjourned to the 16th January 2018.