Fire destroys house in Berbice – couple left homeless

A mid-morning fire on the East Bank of Berbice in Region Six has left two persons homeless and damage worth more than $15M.
No one was said to be at home at time of the fire.  However,  neighbours said smoke was initially seen coming from the back of the upper flat of the house.
House destroyed by fire in Berbice
House destroyed by fire in Berbice

One eyewitness, Ester Jonas, said she responded to shouts of ‘fire’ and ran out of her yard. “When I ran out there was smoke, there was no fire visible as yet and ever body started forming a bucket brigade to assist in (outing) the fire…It went on for quite a while because when the fire tenders came there was not enough water and they were still using the buckets to out the fire over on the other house because it had already catch,” Jonas related.

She says two fire tenders responded forty-five minutes after they called the fire service and only one was equipped with water. The other had to source water which took a further thirty minutes.
The house was occupied by Clyde Riddle and his wife Abigail. According to Clyde, he left home shortly before 10:00hrs and received a telephone call fifteen minutes later stating that his house was on fire. According to him, at the time only a refrigerator was running in the house. Riddle said when he rushed home, the entire upper flat was engulfed. “The roof started falling in and the heat prevented the people from getting to the bottom to save some of the equipment….”.
The family had been living at the Glasgow New Housing Scheme home for the past eight years and were on the last phase to complete their two bedroom home. Clyde Riddle said they should have started to paint last week but were prevented from doing so because of the inclement weather. The painting had been rescheduled for this week.
The cause of the blaze is still unknown. The Guyana Fire Service has launched an investigation.


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