As the news spread, students tried to put out the fire with raw leaves and buckets of water but their efforts were counterproductive. The more they did, the more the fire raged on.
There is no community fire brigade but Sister Beatrice remembered that SL Mining had trained firefighters at the Marampa Mine. The school’s secretary telephoned SL Mining and asked for help.
‘’When they were called they immediately responded by sending some members of their staff with their machines to put out the fire,’’ said Sister Beatrice. She believes that without the timely intervention of staff from SL Mining the school would have been badly damaged and lives possibly lost.
Mr. Gidril Saffa Conteh, the coordinator of the state registered nursing program for the institution said he was in his office with his colleagues when he heard the clamor outside. He said that when he and others got outside, they noticed thick smoke emanating from the bushes. They also heard a cracking sound before they saw the fire coming towards the hostels. The fire’s temperature was so high, it melted some of the protective mesh on the windows.
Students concerned for their campus, sprang into action. They fetched buckets of water to put out the fire but the fire was stronger. It was at the moment that SL Mining Limited first response firefighters arrived with a water hose and fire extinguishers, a larger fire brigade engine was also dispatched by the company. The fire was extinguished and calm returned to the campus.
Mr. Conteh said that if it was not for the swift intervention of SL Mining their campus would have all gone up in flames.
“Due to quick thinking of Sister Beatrice in calling SL Mining, their firefighters were able to quickly contain the fire, and there were fortunately no injuries as a result,” said Mr. Conteh.
“As far as corporate social responsibility goes, SL Mining we are satisfied. This is a reputable and responsible company.”
Wildfires are natural disasters that occur in Sierra Leone during the dry and windy Harmattan Season. One way to avoid such fires is to dispose of grass, dried leaves wood and branches. In case of a fire emergency communities should always reach out to qualified firefighters.