A Good Intent, West Bank Demerara (WBD) family was awakened from their deep slumber in the wee hours of Thursday by thick smoke billowing through their home.
The fire, of unknown origin, quickly enveloped the entire structure, forcing the family of four to run to safety, leaving everything behind.
The fire reportedly started at about 03:00h at the Lot 426 Good Intent, WBD home. At the time of the blaze, Renita Joseph, a teacher attached to the Belle West Primary School, along with her husband and two children, was at home. After realising that the house was engulfed in smoke, she immediately raised an alarm, and she and her husband rushed to their children’s rooms, grabbed them, and exited the home through the back door. At that point, the fire was already spreading rapidly.
Abdullah Martin, the man of the house, explained that the flames started in the upper flat of the two-storey building, and shortly after they had run to safety, the entire building was fully ablaze.
“My wife wake me up and tell me that the house is on fire. When I come out the room, the whole front half of the living room; the wall, chair, ceiling and everything, was on fire. The only thing we could do was pick up the kids and run out the house through the back door. By the time we come outside, the whole house was in flames…We barely make it to come out the step. I fall down the step with the amount of smoke that was in the house.”
By then neighbours rushed to their aid and attempted to douse the flames, but the concrete and wooden structure could not be saved.
Martin – who is a taxi driver – managed to save his car. However, although the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) arrived on the scene in a timely manner, the tenders encountered some challenges due to limited fuel. This was compounded by high winds which contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.
“My neighbour came and we had to break down the gate to get the car out the yard. The keys was left in the house, so that’s the only thing was save; everything burn up. I never experienced something like this,” the distraught man contended.
He has pegged his losses at millions of dollars, since their jewellery, furniture, money and other valuables were left in the burning structure.
After the fire, the family combed the rubble in hope of recovering anything.
“The losses are in the millions. It is the house and everything in the house. We didn’t too long move in here in 2017. If anyone would like to help we, we would be happy, because right now we don’t have anywhere to go. Everything in this house burn up, even our clothes,” the man said.
His wife, who is a final year student at the University of Guyana, was distressed that she had lost all research and materials pertaining to her studies. Her children’s schoolwork and other items were also ravaged by the fire.
“The fire destroy everything; all my UG stuff destroyed, everything for my degree and everything that was on my computer, all of my son’s school books and resources we would have used… The fire was already approaching to my room, so I grabbed my daughter off the bed and shout for my husband to get my son,” Renita stressed.
Persons willing to offer support can contact the family on 267-1408 or 658-3022. (Rupa Seenaraine)