Firefighters comb the debris of the St Angela’s Hostel, Karasabai, South Pakaraimas, Rupununi (Guyana Fire Service picture)
Four boys on Thursday confessed to burning down part of the St Angela’s Girls’ Hostel at Karasabai, South Pakaraimas, Rupununi earlier in the day after they were chased away by the caretaker, police said.
None of the 19 students between the ages of 11 years and 16 years old was injured. “All the female students were able to make it to safety while an alarm was raised and police of Karasabai Police Station and villagers immediately formed a bucket brigade and extinguished the fire.
Investigators said part of the building was destroyed by fire at about 2:30 AM Thursday, after the boys threatened to burn down the hostel. “Four male students threatened to set fire to the building after they were chased from the premises by the caretaker. They made good on their promise ,” police said.
The Guyana Police Force said the 13-year old boys, who were questioned in the presence of their parents, have since been arrested. “The four alleged suspects were contacted and interviewed by the police in the presence of Commander Region #9, the Regional Education Officer Region #9 and their parents and they all confessed to the planning and executing of the crime,” police said.
The Juvenile Justice Act states that it shall be presumed that no child under the age of 14 shall be capable of or guilty of committing an offence.
Thursday’s blaze followed one on May 22, 2023 that killed 20 students after a 15-year old girl allegedly set fire to the Mahdia Secondary School dormitory because the dorm mother and a teacher took away her cellular phone. She has been charged with murder by arson and remanded to a juvenile detention centre.