Mahdia fire: “I can’t explain my feelings” – father of 13-Y-O victim

Andrea Roberts

Micobie resident Andrea Roberts, 13, was among those who lost their lives following the fire that engulfed Mahdia Secondary School’s girls’ dormitory in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) on Sunday.

Roberts leaves behind her parents, four sisters and two brothers.

“Happy, joyful, always willing…if I asked [her for anything], she was always willing,” said Benedict Roberts, the victim’s father.

According to the senior Roberts’, his daughter’s body was beyond recognition when it was recovered.

“I can’t explain my feelings,” Roberts said.

Other Micobie residents who died in the fire–distant relatives of Roberts’–include Nicholeen Roberts, Gabriella Roberts, Nathalie Bellarmine, Arianna Edwards and Delicia Edwards.

The Guyana Police Force and Fire Service are currently conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

Reportedly, 63 female students were present in the dormitory at the time of the fire.

“At this time, we can confirm that we received the report of the fire at 23:15 p.m. last evening; however, when firefighters arrived on the scene, the building was already completely engulfed in flames, resulting in 19 children losing their lives by the time it was extinguished,” the Guyana Fire Service stated in a press release.

Fourteen youths died at the scene, while five died at Mahdia District Hospital.

Six persons were air-dashed to Guyana Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), with two receiving ventilation support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and one being rushed to the Operating Theatre (OT).

Meanwhile, five remain admitted at the Mahdia hospital and another 10 are in observation.

“Firefighters did manage to rescue some 20 students by breaking holes in the north-eastern wall of the building,” the Fire Service’s statement continued.

A mental health unit is being mobilised to aid affected students and parents while government officials led by Prime Minister Mark Phillips are on site to offer support.