Founder blames arsonists for Bogor orphanage fire
Winda A. Charmila
The Jakarta Post
A recent fire at an orphanage in Jonggol, Bogor regency, West Java, in which two children were injured, might have been started deliberately by people opposed to its operation, its founders have claimed.
A witness, Yetty Debora, said on Thursday that the fire at the Mama Sayang institution was detected shortly after 9 p.m. on March 6.
“I heard someone scream. Then I saw a fire on the roof of our workshop and when I went there I heard the sound of explosions inside the room which caused another fire,” she said.
To prevent the flames from spreading, around 44 children tried to put out the fire, two of them were injured in the course of their efforts. Fire trucks arrived at the scene after the fire had been brought under control.
Established in 2003, the orphanage was founded by missionary couple Mike and Jeveline Hillard to accommodate poor children, orphans and children from troubled families. Mike comes from Scotland and Jeveline is from Manado, North Sulawesi.
The orphanage relied on donations to cover its operational costs.
Jeveline said some people opposed the presence of the orphanage, as demonstrated by banners that had been erected around the complex stating that it should stop exploiting children. She said the children rejected the allegations and asked for the banners to be removed.
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