A well-intentioned family, West Bank Demerara (WBD) was woken from their deep slumber in the early hours of Thursday by thick smoke flowing through their home.
The fire, which was not originally information, quickly enclosed the entire structure, forcing the family of four to run to safety, leaving everything behind.
Apparently, the fire started around 03:00h at the home of Lot 426 Good Intent, WBD. At the time of the fire, Renita Joseph, a teacher attached to Belle West Primary School, along with her husband and two children, were at home. Realizing that the house was engulfed in smoke, an alarm immediately arose, and she and her husband rushed to their children’s rooms, seized them, and left the home through the back door. At that point, the fire was already spreading quickly.
Abdullah Martin, the man of the house, explained that the flames started in the upper apartment of the two-storey building, and shortly after they ran to safety, the whole building spread completely.
“My wife wakes me up and tells me the house is on fire. When I come out of the room, the entire front half of the living room; the wall, the chair, the ceiling and everything, were on fire. All we could do was pick up the kids and run out of the house through the back door. By the time we got outside, the whole house was in flames … We were barely making it come out of the step. I squat down the stairs with how much smoke was in the house. ”
By then neighbors rushed to their aid and tried to put out the flames, but the concrete and wood structure could not be saved.
Martin – a taxi driver – managed to save his car. However, although Guyana Fire Service (GFS) arrived on scene in a timely manner, the tenders encountered some challenges due to limited fuel. This was exacerbated by strong winds which contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.
“My neighbor came and we had to break down the gate to get the car out of the yard. The keys were left in the house, so that was the only thing saving; everything burns up. I never experienced something like this, ”the disturbed man argued.
It has pegged its losses at millions of dollars, since its jewelry, furniture, silver and other valuables were left in the burning structure.
After the fire, the family combed the rubble hoping to recover anything.
“The losses are in the millions. This is the house and everything in the house. We didn’t move too far in here in 2017. If anyone would like to help us, we would be happy, because right now we have nowhere to go. Everything in this house burns up, even our clothes, ”said the man.
His wife, a final year student at the University of Guyana, was distraught that she had lost all the research and materials relating to her studies. Her children’s schoolwork and other items were also hit by the fire.
“The fire destroys everything; all my AS stuff, everything for my degree and everything on my computer, all of my son’s school books and resources that I would have used were destroyed … The fire was already approaching my room, so I grabbed my daughter get out of bed and shout for my husband to have my son, ”Renita stressed.
Individuals willing to offer support can contact the family at 267-1408 or 658-3022. (Rupa Seenaraine)