5 homeless after East Canje fire

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Five persons are now homeless after a fire of unknown origin completely destroyed a two-storey house at Betsy Ground, East Canje, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).

Reports are that a fisherman who lives opposite the property that was destroyed called the Guyana Fire Service at about 21:45h and reported that he was sitting on his verandah and noticed sparks coming from a utility pole situated in front of the Betsy Ground home.

One of the occupants of the house, Zamile Khan, who lived in the house with her two children and two other children, told this publication that she was not at home at the time of the fire.

According to her, since she does not have a television, she would take her two children, aged 14 and 12 along with her eight-year-old grandson and 13-year-old nephew – all of whom live with her – to her uncle’s residence, situated in the next street behind her home, to watch TV.

“I told the children that is time to go home and we started walking through the yard and then I see this bright light I thought it was ‘Holi’ they burning for Phagwah,” she related while noting that it did not take much longer for her to realise that it was her house on fire.

“Fire was from all four sides – all over. The whole house was in fire, I did not get to save anything.”

Khan said she immediately raised an alarm and neighbours started to rush out.

Efforts by the Guyana Fire Service to extinguish the blaze proved futile.

Residents reported that the Fire Service did not take long to respond. However, when they got to the scene fire had already consumed the entire building.

Khan, who operates a small business along the roadside, explained that she also does domestic work in the community to make ends meet.

“All the children school things burn up,” she said.

The building is owned by the very uncle Khan who was visiting at the time of the fire.

Damages are estimated at $3.2 million. The GFS has since launched an investigation.