At least six persons were rendered homeless following a mid-afternoon fire which ripped through a house at Norton Street, Georgetown on Sunday.
The cause of the fire at Lot 62 Norton Street, Georgetown is yet to be determined. The razed building is reportedly owned by the brother of a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
At the scene, the owner’s brother, Gulliver Quincy McEwan told reporters that he was downstairs preparing to do some afternoon chores when he saw a ball of fire in one of the bedrooms in the upper flat of the house.
“I was about to do some washing and I hear a ‘pow’ sound, and when I raise my head, I saw fire and I started shouting for my sibling and by the time they run out, the place was just blazing,” he said.
He explained that he has been living on the property for over 23 years, and the house belongs to his brother who lives overseas. He estimated their losses to be in the millions.
“It like the biggest fridge… I like nice things: flatscreen TV, well-furnished home, a grocery shop, two coolers, refrigerator, into millions and billions of dollars. I can’t really explain…,” he said.
When asked if the building was insured, McEwan’s response was “no”. He says he does not know what is his next move, but he is definitely a strong person, and will seek God in this difficult time.
“Losing your home and all of your life worth, savings, and knowing in Guyana it is not easy working to achieve things, and especially when you are not from the normal public and you are from an LGBT population where limited resources is given to that community, you can imagine,” he explained.
Deputy Fire Chief Kalamadeen Edoo said the western wall of another house was damaged. The house also sustained water damage.
He noted that four persons were living in that building and, fortunately, no one received any injuries.
Meanwhile, with respect to the completely destroyed building, officials of the Guyana Fire Service (GPF) confirmed that the six occupants managed to also escape unhurt.
The Deputy Fire Chief related that upon receiving the report of the fire, two teams from the West Ruimveldt and Central Fire Stations were deployed to the location.
“Upon arrival, the entire building of origin was engulfed, and in flames, where the entire top floor was already caved in and also threatening the western side of the (next) building. Immediately, we went into fire-fighting mode and brought the fire under control,” he said.
An investigation has been launched into the incident.