Investigators Identify Victims Of Deadliest Fire Since 1990s Happy Land Arson

Investigators say a young boy playing with a stove caused the deadly apartment fire.

By the time the boy’s mother was alerted to the fire, officials say the flames had spread too far.


She took her two children and fled the apartment —leaving the door open.

Among the victims are a family of four — 2-year-old Kylie Francis, 7-year-old Charmela Francis, 19-year-old Shantay Young and 37-year-old Karen Francis.

Investigators have also identified 58-year-old Maria Batiz, 7-month-old Amora Vidal, 28-year-old Emmanuel Mensah, 49-year-old Donkor Sollomon and Justice Opoku.

Two other victims, a 12-year-old boy and a 50-year-old man have not yet been identified.

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“But not letting something like this happen, call for help,” said Shevan Stewart, a victim’s family member. “Say something. You leave the door open and just say, “fire, fire, fire” you’re not saying anything else? From the moment you see the fire escalating knock on somebody’s door, ask for help. It didn’t have to reach that far.”

“Because of negligence all my family is gone. It’s not nice and it’s not fair.”

The fire spread up the stairs and cut off exit points for people on the upper floors.


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About Cholo Brooks 15568 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.