LIBERIA: Executive Mansion Clarifies Media Reports On Fire Incident

Presidential Press Secretary, Piah addressing journalists
Presidential Press Secretary, Piah Explaining the cause of the fire

(LINA) – The Executive Mansion has clarified that the fourth and fifth floors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were not affected as a result of the fire incident at the ministry Tuesday as reported by several media outlets Wednesday.

The media outlets, specifically newspapers in their Wednesday edition reported that “fire gutted” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs greatly affecting the fourth and fifth floors.

The fifth floor houses the Ministry of State while the sixth floor hosts the office of the President.

During a tour of the floors by journalists Wednesday, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah explained that there was a minor incident of smoke in the operation room on the fourth floor as a result of electrical fault and not a fire outbreak as was reported by the media.

“I am taking you on a tour of these floors so that you can have a fair share of what actually happened in order to report the facts and not to misrepresent the facts or speculate,” Piah stressed.

Making reference to the Women Voices Newspaper which reported, “Fire Guts Foreign Ministry Destroying Important Documents,” Piah said the incident did not cross the operation room; needless to say it destroyed documents because no documents are kept where the incident occurred.

Mr. Piah addressing the media on the cause of the fire
Mr. Piah addressing the media on the cause of the fire

During the tour, it was observed that the fifth floor was functional while the fourth floor was dark with the offices empty but it was not destroyed as there was no sign of fire aftermath.

Press Secretary Piah attributed the darkness on the fourth floor to the disconnection of the wires by technicians at the ministry to avoid the situation from escalating.

In the operation room, where the incident occurred, it was observed that the panel box that controls the distribution of internet in the entire Ministry operated by Lone Star Cell MTN experienced an electrical fault which led to the melting of the wires, releasing a lot of smoke.

Piah also clarified that the evacuation of staff was to ensure that they were safe as efforts were underway to identify the problem and find a speedy solution which was done and not because the building was coming down in flames as was widely reported.

According to him, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of State is working with the management of Lone Star Cell MTN to ensure that the equipment is speedily refurbished in order to get the work of the Liberian government ongoing.

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About Cholo Brooks 13527 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.