The sub-office of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) situated at Wismar, Linden, in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), was destroyed by fire in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
The two-storey concrete building situated at Lot 2 Burnham Drive, went up in flames at about 01:55h, however, firefighters attached to the Linden Fire Station, who responded promptly, were able to contain the blaze to the upper flat and prevented it from spreading to nearby buildings.
The upper part of the building housed the GECOM office. The cause of the fire is unknown, however, authorities have since suspected arson.
When this publication arrived at the scene, firefighters were battling the flames to avoid further spread. Reports are that the guards were who were on duty called a GECOM official at about 01:58h and informed that person that the building was on fire. The police and Guyana Fire Service were quickly summoned to the scene.
Speaking with this publication, one of the security guards, who was on duty at the time, said that she heard a loud bang at about 01:55h. This, she noted, prompted her to check around the building. She said that it was then that she again heard another loud explosion. The woman recalled that she then observed fire emanating from within the building along with the smell of gasoline.
The guard told investigators that two males were observed running from the western side of the building. She added that the men ran through the nearby First Alley Street, Wismar, where they made good their escape.
Meanwhile, according to Registration Officer in charge of the location, Rensford Alleyne, the building housed registration documents and computers.
The losses have not yet been estimated, however, Alleyne said he last visited the office at 06:15h on Monday. Police questioned several persons in relation to the incident.
The building, which is owned by Lindener Fitzgerald London, started being rented by GECOM some four years ago. An investigation has since been launched. (G13)