Fire destroys two-storey house at Good Hope; arson suspected

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The Good Hope house on fire Friday night

A late-night fire, suspected to be an act of arson, has destroyed a two-storey house and left at least one person homeless.

The wooden and concrete building located at Lot 13 Phase One, Good Hope, East Coast Demerara, is owned and occupied by 59-year-old Asif Shaffie.

According to the Guyana Fire Service, the fire was reported at about 21:28h on Friday and Water Tenders #103 from the Campbellville Fire Station and #106 from Melanie Fire Station were immediately dispatched to the location.

As a result of the blaze, the building and its contents were destroyed.

The destroyed building

The Fire Service said, “The purported cause of the fire is malicious setting by person(s) unknown.”

Having noted an increase in arson attacks, the GFS is advising citizens to not make it easy for an arsonist to start a fire or for an outdoor fire to spread to other buildings.

The following are some preventative tips for you to reduce malicious fires:

• Keep garbage, litter, leaves, firewood, overgrown brush and shrubbery, and other combustibles away from buildings.
• Lock all doors and windows in garages, cars and unoccupied buildings.
• Install outdoor lighting, including motion sensor lights, on all sides of your property.
• Board up abandoned buildings and clean the area of litter and debris.
• Securely store combustibles such as paint, gasoline, and oil in proper flammable storage containers in a locked location to restrict access. Minimize the quantity of combustibles in storage and dispose of materials you don’t need.
• Report suspicious activity near houses or other buildings to the Guyana Fire Service or Guyana Police Force.
• Get to know your neighbours – together you can keep a watchful eye on your community.
• Keep matches and lighters out of reach and out of sight of children.

• If you know or suspect that an arson crime has been committed, contact the Guyana Fire Service or Guyana Police Force immediately.