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SHERIKAT-Fire baby dead 50 houses razed

Wreckages of the burnt houses

By Yiep Joseph

An infant died and several others were injured as fire consumed over 50 houses in Juba’s Sherikat residential area on Saturday night.

An eyewitness who declined to be named said a baby of about one year was inside one of the houses when the fire broke out at 10:00 pm

Residents were seen leaping from the burning houses while trying to rescue people and prevent more spread to the other huts or houses.

The fire whose cause has not been established, took time to be contained because the affected area is in a congested slum.

Abraham Gak Adum, one of the residents of the affected area said that the fire broke out at 10:00 pm when most of the shops were still operating since it was the weekend.

Mr. Adum said noise from generators and weekend parties made it difficult to hear the alarm that was being sounded by residents when the fire struck.

“It was still 10 o’clock in the evening and most of the shops were open, sounds were all over the area due to discos for the weekend. Suddenly, we heard the sound of someone crying and saw certain smoke a sign of something burning,” Abraham said.

The eyewitness explained many people rushed to help put the raging fire out but the blaze had already spread wide and iron sheet roofs were engulfed in flames.

He said the infant that met its unfortunate death was left alone in the house by an elder sibling who went to watch movies in the nearby shop.

The witness said firefighters only showed up after the fire had already wreaked havoc.

“People in the area suffered a lot as they tried to control more spread but the firefighters failed to come on time to rescue the situation,” Adum lamented.

South Sudan National Police Service Deputy Spokesperson Brigadier General James Dak Karlo confirmed the fire incident and said it was being investigated by the Civil Defense also known as Fire Brigade.

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