Berbice teacher’s home goes up in flames

Investigators are probing the origin of a fire that engulfed the home of a Stanleytown, New Amsterdam, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) teacher on Saturday.

Mehelia McAlmont

Reports are that the residence of 44-year-old Dexter Lucious, a seaman, and 28-year-old Mehelia McAlmont, a teacher, went up in flames at about 01:00h.
At the time of the fire, McAlmont was making preparations for her birthday celebrations on Saturday. Reports are that the fire was seen inside of the lower flat of the building which is occupied by the teacher.
According to McAlmont, family members were decorating a tent in front of the yard. She said that she connected a drop cord to get electricity from an outlet in the bedroom. However, flames were initially seen coming from the sitting room.
She said that as they were setting the decorations the light went off and she sent her nephew inside to investigate. He then shouted for her to see what was happening. The woman recalled that as she rushed into the house she saw fire in the living room and immediately raised an alarm.
Soon after neighbours formed a bucket brigade. According to the teacher, she called 912.

The house where the fire completely destroyed the inside of the lower flat

“I explained to them what was the incident and I was asked three times where is my location and in detail, I did explain… I described that it is on the Backdam half and if they come in they will see it. However, it is the first peach house. I was quite calm and detailed and I was being asked this question over and over again.”
She said she eventually disconnected that call and called the fire station direct and a unit from the department in New Amsterdam arrived about 45 minutes later.
During that time neighbours concentrated their attention on the house next door.
McAlmont said at the time of the fire, nothing was on the stove.
Neighbours said that there were sparks coming from an electrical wire in front of the house before the firefighters arrived at the scene.
“But by then everything was gone. They tried to contain the fire,” McAlmont added.
According to her, she was only able to save a few pieces of clothing but could not estimate her loses.
Meanwhile, while the fighters were able to contain the fire to the lower flat of the building, much of the floor to the upper flat received extensive damage. (G4)