By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A mid-morning fire has rendered five persons homeless, destroyed a storage bond belonging to Beepats – a leading distributor in Guyana – and burned a nearby house, while scorching several others at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.
According to one resident, who gave his name as Rajendra, at about 10:30hrs on Friday morning (October 11) he heard a loud explosion while in his house which is situated to the East of the burnt bond. He said “I went inside and I hear something like gunshots ringing out, when I watch outside I see big smoke in the upper flat of the building and workers running.”
Rajendra added that the Fire Service arrived about 25 minutes later and described the service’s approach
to containing the blaze as ‘useless’. He said the bond existed in the community for over 20 years and contains products distributed by Beepats. Several combustible materials went off during the ordeal (insecticides), which sent persons running for cover.
One relative of the family oriented business, Jonathan Beepat was at the scene but refused to comment. It is however widely believed that the family has suffered millions, if not billions in losses. One resident said “I’m so sorry for the Beepats’, especially at this time coming onto Christmas, I’m so sorry.”
A woman who lived in the nearby house that was also destroyed was at the scene but was too distraught to comment. iNews understands however that the house was home to five persons, three children who were at school at the time of the ordeal and two adults.
Meanwhile, residents lashed out and criticized objectionably the response of the Guyana Fire Service. Residents were certainly not satisfied with the response and believe the nearby house could have been saved. However, what appeared to be the challenge of the Fire Service was access to water.
This was confirmed by Operations Officer Joseph McDonald, who explained that they had to pump water from almost 800 feet away. He said firefighters also had a hard time containing the blaze since the buildings were heavily grilled and the smoke was too overwhelming. He said firefighters tried their best to save what they could have and hoped for more appreciation for their work.