A DUNFERMLINE charity will equip a hospital in Sierra Leone with life-saving equipment just days after a large fire in its capital.

International Fire and Rescue Association (IFRA) donated two 40-feet containers with vital apparatus last Wednesday.

The containers will take around 30 days to arrive from when they were shipped and the donations will be used immediately and in the wake of a devastating fire in Freetown, which started late on Wednesday evening.

According to local authorities, an estimated 4,500 people have been impacted by the blaze in Susan’s Bay, an overcrowded area in the heart of the city.

“Many children are missing as they were separated from their parents in the chaos,” said Heather Campbell, Save the Children’s country director for Sierra Leone.

“Thousands of families in Susan’s Bay already live in desperate conditions. In seconds, they lost everything they had: their makeshift shelters, their clothes, what little food they had in stock, their money – everything is gone.”

David Kay OBE, IFRA chair, told the Press that the donation from IFRA, which includes 350 sets of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) fire uniforms, will make a real difference to crews and the National Police Hospital in the city.

He said: “We were very sorry to hear about the fire and our thoughts go out to everyone.

“Coincidentally, the kit we’ve sent there will be very valuable to them as the country’s fire service is sadly lacking in the safety equipment it needs to protect themselves when dealing with fires.”

Sierra Leone is the 22nd country that IFRA has helped, with the two containers being the 63rd and 64th sent around the world.

David said: “This equipment, mostly donated from NHS Fife, is in the form of redundant hospital equipment such as beds, specialist patient-lifting cradles, maternity beds, hospital furniture, baby clothing, premature baby kits and medical equipment.

“This vital equipment will effectively re-equip a major hospital.”

Knockhill Racing Circuit has contributed defibrillators, Ross County Football Club has gifted 11 boxes of football kit for kids and Ballyclare International sent the PPE fire uniforms.

The project was dreamed up by new IFRA member and retired Police Scotland Superintendent Liz Macleod, who was seconded to the Sierra Leone Police for two years before her recent retirement.