3-year-old perishes in early morning fire

A three-year-old girl was on Friday morning burnt to death after a fire suspected to be electrical in origin, completely razed her parents’ home at Vigilance Squatting Area, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

The parents, siblings and residents burst into tears as detectives removed the charred remains of Bianca Sanko from the gutted building at about 09:00h.

Reports are the mother and her four children, including Bianca, were asleep in separate bedrooms of the two-storey wooden structure when the mother was awoken at about 07:00h by the smell of smoke and saw the house partially engulfed in flames.

Bianca Sanko in happier times
Bianca Sanko in happier times

Upon seeing this, she hurriedly rushed three of the children out of the home and was returning for the fourth when the upper flat caved thereby preventing her from entering. Within moments, the building was completely engulfed in flames with the child trapped.

A relative who realised the child was trapped in the inferno, explained that he attempted to save her but the heat was too intense and he had to retreat. He also noted that he stumbled in the process and hurt himself.

In tears the young man stated that it was heart rendering to see the flames knowing that a child was being burnt to death.

Detectives removing the charred remains of the child
Detectives removing the charred remains of the child

In addition, an aunt who resides in close proximity told Guyana Times that she was preparing breakfast when she saw smoke bellowing from her sister’s house and immediately raised an alarm.

She noted that within minutes, the flames were seen emanating from the building. As she rushed to the house, she saw her sister and three of the children but no sign of little Bianca. In tears, she explained that upon enquiring, she found out that the girl was trapped in the inferno.

“I try to run in the house to see for Bianca but a beam come down on me and I had to run out… other people in the area also try to go in the house but it was too late,” the woman cried.

The mother of the child was devastated and had to be taken to a nearby health centre since she had sustained minor burns about the body.

An official of the Guyana Fire Service explained that after the report was received, several tenders from Campbellville, Georgetown and Mahaica, ECD, stations responded, but by the time they arrived, the house was already engulfed and there was nothing they could have done to save the child.

The firefighters however, managed to contain the blaze and a few hours later found the charred remains of the toddler. The remains were placed into a bag and taken to the Lyken’s Funeral Home.

On the other hand, the Guyana Power and Light has launched an investigation to determine whether the electricity supply to the building was legal.

In addition, the Child Care and Protection Agency is expected to probe the condition under which the children lived as a result of information provided to them during their visit to the scene.

The Police are investigating the unfortunate incident. (Bhisham Mohamed)