7 homeless after Corentyne fire

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Seven persons including a Police officer are now homeless after a fire suspected to be an act of arson completely destroyed a two-storey Corentyne building in the wee hours of Sunday.

The fire was first sighted in the wooden and concrete building at about 03:30h. One of the occupants, Omatoya Melville, recalled being awakened by smoke in her room.

“There was fire all over in the house and when I came out in the road, my other brother said Andrew light the fire.”

Two brothers, Andrew and Elroy Lowenfield, occupied the upper flat of the house while Melville and her three children aged 11, 8 and 7-years-old along with Melville’s brother, Steven, occupied the lower flat.

The mother of three, who is a Police officer attached to the Number 51 Police Station, said the suspected arsonist was later arrested and taken into custody.

“When he drinks, he always like, ‘I gon burn this house down, the only reason why I am not doing it is because of Omatoya and her three children’. He would normally say that,” Melville related.

According to her, the family had been occupying the two-storey building for more than two decades but after Andrew was released from prison two years ago, he started making threats to burn down the building.

She said he made attempts on two occasions to execute his threats but was unsuccessful. The woman explained that she lost everything in the fire.

“It is affecting me in a real serious way because I don’t have anywhere to go. I am homeless with my three children. I have nothing to start over with, not even a pin,” she explained.

She said as a Police officer living in her own home, life was comfortable until Sunday’s fire. “Now it is hard. I don’t even know my next move,” she cried.

Melville is calling on the public to assist her at this difficult time. She can be contacted on phone number 685-1547.