2 perish in separate fires at Mahaicony, Rose Hall Town
Two persons were killed between Wednesday and Thursday in separate fires at Mahaicony, ECD and Rose Hall Town in East Berbice.
The dead men are 75-year-old Sammy Munian of Fairfield, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara (ECD) and Hermon Perreira, 64, a Pastor and businessman of Williamsburg, Rose Hall Town, Corentyne, Region Six.
According to the Fire Department, the Mahaicony blaze was the result of a deliberate setting of fire to a garbage heap, which subsequently spread to the house that was in close proximity.
By the time the fire was extinguished, the building and its contents were destroyed, and Munian’s remains were later discovered.
On Thursday at about 7:45h, Fire Service received reports of a fire at Williamsburg, Corentyne. At the time of the blaze, Pereira was reportedly sitting in a chair in the dining area, while his wife Patricia Pereira was in the yard.
She soon was alerted to smoke emanating from the northern wall in the vicinity of an air condition unit. The woman ran out of the house and raised an alarm, leaving her husband in the house.
According to the Fire Service, one unit from Rose Hall and another from New Amsterdam responded, and by the time they arrived, the building was completely engulfed in flames.
“As a result of the fire, the building and its contents were destroyed, and Hermon Perreira lost his life,” the Fire Department said in a statement.
However, residents accused the Fire Service of not responding in a timely manner. Calls were reportedly made to the Rose Hall Fire Department and the firefighters responded only after residents went to inform them.
“I had to leff hea and go fo dem, although the ‘big man’ go fo dem. When I go, dem boys dea sit down, an we cuss dem up and tell dem that a fire going on and they drive out and they come. They come without no water,” one resident said in his native Corentyne dialect.
At the scene, the Fire Service alleged that there was no water source in the area, and as such, they had to make four trips to the Rose Hall Fire Department to get water to contain the blaze.
Perreira and six family members lived in the building. His son Sean Perreira related that he was downstairs when his mother alerted him that the house was on fire. He said he first called out to his sister, and then saw her running out of the building.
“I had a look inside, and it was too dark, I couldn’t see my dad. I run to the side for a barrel of water,” the cricketer said with a pause, before adding, “It was just fire.”
Residents broke a section of the floor to look for the elderly man, but there were no signs of him. They go away, and by the time they come back the whole house in flames.
“We broke the floor to go in and rescue Uncle Herman, but he was nowhere around in the bedroom,” one resident told this publication.
The Fire Service also made checks for the man in the building, but did not find him.
“When I left, the smoke was in the room, some electrical thing there. When they come back, they take some water from my neighbour reservoir and then they when and check, but they didn’t see him… My neighbour [Perreira] pass through the floor and come downstairs and drop in the shop. When you look, you could see from his chest to his head,” the man said.
Perreira was a father of six and also the pastor of The Tabernacle of Changing of Life Ministries of Williamsburg.