A fire suspected to be electrical in origin completely destroyed the home and business place of a Wakenaam, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) businessman.
Reports are that the fire started sometime between 02:30h and 04:45h on Sunday morning at Lot 18 Belle Plaine Wakenaam Island, Essequibo River.
As flames gutted the building, 54-year-old businessman Anil Rambarran had to be rushed to the hospital after his blood pressure skyrocketed.
According to Police, Rambarran and his 54-year-old wife, were asleep in their four bedroom, two-storey concrete and wooden structure which houses A&C Business Enterprise in the lower flat, when they were awoken by screams coming from neighbours.
The couple rushed out of bed and discovered that smoke was coming from the shop in the lower flat of their home. Reports are that the couple escaped through their back door and ran out on the road and watched as their entire home was engulfed in flames.
Residents in the area formed bucket brigades but their efforts were futile.
Police stated that Fire Service ranks of Essequibo Fire Station and Leonora Fire Station responded to the scene but the entire building was engulfed.
However, they managed to prevent further damages to the neighbouring home.
The couple’s neighbour, Shanta Jairam, said that she was asleep and awoke to the smell of smoke and raised an alarm.
According to eyewitnesses, the fire began at the bottom flat of the home where the business is located and then quickly spread to other sections.
Meanwhile, the businessman said that his losses are in the millions, pointing out that the business was his sole source of income.
The Guyana Fire Service has since launched an investigation.
Meanwhile, following the fire, a high-level team visited the family. The team was led by Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn and included Minister within the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Deodat Indar; Chief Fire Officer (ag), Gregory Wickham; Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) Chairman, Inshan Ayube; Region Three Deputy Chairman, Omesh Satyanand; Deputy Police Commissioner “Operation”, Clifton Hicken; Region Three Police Commander, Errol Watts; Regional Detective Officer, ASP Grant, and several other ranks visited the island where they met with the victims and residents.