Friendship home destroyed by fire, arson suspected

All that remains of the woman's home
All that remains of the woman’s home

A 45-year-old woman stepped into the new year homeless after her home in the Friendship Squatting Area, East Bank Demerara was torched on January 1, 2017.

Reports are that at around 16:30hrs on New Years day, the woman, Valerie Atkinson was in a mini-bus travelling to Dairy on the West Bank of Demerara when she received a phone call from her neighbour informing her that her small wooden house was on fire.

Atkinson’s daughter, Debbie Edwards told Inews that her mother immediately returned home, only to find that her house and everything in it, had been burnt to the ground.

Additionally, Edwards relayed that her mother was told by a neighbour in the village that he had seen a man lurking and attempting to set the fire.

Inews understands that Atkinson quickly went to the Grove Police Station to make a report, and officers were on their way to the home. However, they subsequently returned to the station and informed her that they were “busy dealing with a murder in Friendship.”

Edwards who was speaking on behalf of her mother, said that since the incident, Atkinson has been running back and forth trying to get the Police to take the suspected case of arson, seriously.

Atkinson lived in the small wooden home with six of her eight children, ages 25, 21, 16, 17, and twin boys ages 8.

Now, the family is forced to dwell back and forth between Atkinson’s two other daughters at their respective homes.

Police have since stated that they are awaiting the eyewitness’ statement, highlighting that the man promised to give a report of what he saw, tomorrow.

Investigations are ongoing. (Ramona Luthi)


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