Fire destroys house, 2 heavy-duty machines in East Canje


…arson suspected

A fire believed to be an act of arson destroyed a house in East Canje, Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne). The fire also destroyed two heavy-duty machines.

The fire was reported to the Guyana Fire Service just after 03:00h on Monday and according to the fire department, they are pursuing multiple leads, while the police have apprehended one individual.

At the time of the fire, at Lot 18, Cumberland, East Canje no one was at home. Inews was told that Masood Hussain, 43, had left for the backdam on the East Bank of Berbice several days earlier. Another man, Steven Balkarran reportedly secured the premises on Sunday afternoon at about 18:00h and left.

Officer in charge of the New Amsterdam Fire Service Shannon Crawford said that two water tenders responded.

However, he noted that based on what was observed, it appeared that the fire was burning for some time before the fire department was contacted.

“They got there very quickly within fifteen minutes and they observed a very small building was well engulfed and they went into offensive firefighting mode and they were able to suppress the fire quickly and subsequently extinguish it,” Crawford explained.

According to the senior fire officer, the two tenders had enough water to extinguish the fire and did not need to find a water source.

“We are still in the process of doing our investigation and we have not yet ascertained the cause of the fire but we have some positive leads that we are pursuing and when we have comprehensive evidence, we will conclude the investigation.”

There are reports of an ongoing feud between the owner of the house and a villager, who at one time frequented the premises until a cellular phone went missing. It is alleged that the owner reportedly withheld the property of that man and refused to hand it over until the phone was found. There are reports that the man-made threats to burn the building down a few days ago. The size of the house was 7.8 meters by 6 meters.

A bulldozer and a tractor were also destroyed by the fire. The bulldozer is valued at $18 million.

“It would have been impossible to save the tractor based on the state of fire at the time of arrival. When tenders arrived, the building was totally engulfed in flames. It is a very small building and the tractor and bulldozer were under a shed which is attached to the building. The tractor was already in flames when the guys arrived,” Crawford pointed out.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested one man and are awaiting the fire department to conclude their investigation.