A Mines Officer is among eight persons rendered homeless early Sunday morning when fire destroyed a house at Charlestown, Georgetown.
Gavin Stuart, who owned the house at Lot 8 Charles Street, said he was in the upper flat of the two storey building about 2:30 AM when he heard someone in the lower flat raised an alarm.
No one was injured.
Stuart, a Mines Officer at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), estimated his losses at GUY$20 million. He said the building, which was purchased three years ago, was insured.
He believed that the fire was of electrical origin. “It is electrical because that is the only thing we can suspect,” he told Demerara Waves Online News. A neighbour said that 15 minutes before the fire alarm was raised, he heard loud sparking sounds.
Electricity theft is said to be a widespread practice in the area.
The Stuarts occupied the top flat and the Leitchs lived in the lower flat. Among those homeless are four children.
While the owner of the house praised the fire service for its quick reaction, he said half of the house had been already engulfed in flames when they arrived on the scene. “By the time they reached, the house was already engulfed,” he said.
The southern side of a house immediately north of the destroyed house was badly burnt. Alana Pearce who lived in the upper flat of that house said she lost all her belongings. When she heard shouts of fire, she grabbed her seven year old son and exited the building.
When Demerara Waves visited the scene, a number of former female occupants were seen huddling together and weeping. A woman was also seen taking away a set of burnt documents to a nearby building where they were placed in a plastic bag.
Several pieces of furniture were also seen under a house two doors north of the burnt out house. At the scene of the destroyed building, several persons were seen rummaging through the rubble for scrap metal and other items in the hope of making a quick dollar.
Meanwhile, a short distance away from the fire scene a dispute erupted when a woman broke up a small group of fire victims who were being led in prayer by Jean Corbin. The woman believed that the prayer was too long and was adding to the distress of the victims. “They going through too much stress. Pray for the people but don’t do this to them,” said the concerned woman who removed her daughter from the group.
“We are praying with the family to show them how to rise up and them and a Jezebel spirit came. You can’t interrupt God’s work. Prayer is power,” Corbin, however, said.