Over $20M in losses as Linden house goes up in flames

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By Utamu Belle

A fire of unknown origin on Monday completely ravaged a five-bedroom house at Lot 239 One Mile, Wismar, Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), resulting in over $20 million in losses.

The fire reportedly started between 15:30h and 16:05h. The owner of the house reportedly resides overseas but the house was left in the care of her son, Rudolph Wills.

However, at the time of the fire, Wills was not at home but after, he claimed that he had secured the property and went to his neighbour’s house, which is about 30 metres away.

He told the Police that while there, he was alerted that smoke was emanating from the house. This was followed by a huge fire.

“I went right over at me neighbour…went over playing domino,” Wills told this publication, further stating that he was alerted by his son who was also at the neighbour’s premises.

“When he come outside… he see the big smoke. He said, “Daddy, daddy! Smoke! When I watch I said, “That is by me”.

He noted that the smoke was emanating from one of the bedrooms and he quickly rushed over but the western side of the house was on fire.

“We run and come over. By time we run and come over and burst open the front door, I couldn’t even go in the house,” Wills said.

He explained that the fire service was contacted as neighbours rushed to assist but due to the intensity of the heat, they could not save anything.

The house was constructed about 50 years ago.

The devastated man explained that the house was fully furnished. In fact, he added that there were several pieces of electrical appliances which have never been utilised.

He said his mother, who resides in the United States, ensured that the house was fully furnished so that when she visits, she will be equipped.

“I didn’t leave on anything…everything I does plug out. I don’t even use microwave…the only thing that does be on is the fridge,” the man related.

On the other hand, he noted that when the fire tenders arrived at the scene, they encountered some difficulties getting access to water.

Meanwhile, Wills’s sister, Sharon Wills-Joe, who resides out of Linden, travelled to the mining town after she heard of the incident. She noted that she would occasionally travel to Linden to check on the house where she grew up.

She said she was plunged into a state of shock after she received the devasting news. She noted that while the cause of the fire is unknown, her brother was very cautious.

“He does pull out even the phone cord. When I come, I does got to plug in the phone, everything,” she noted.

The woman said they were more concerned about how their mother would take the news since she would always invest in her home. The family was in the process of rehabilitating the house. They noted that the only upgrades left were to the fence.

“It had every little thing a house needed because mommy always made sure to get everything. She wanted to enjoy her old age. That is what she would always say,” Wills-Joe said.

The duo posited that their mother only visited Guyana a few months ago to celebrate her 80th birthday.

Meanwhile, family members and residents were busy assisting the family on Tuesday to clear the debris. Officials from the Guyana Fire Service and the Guyana Police Force have launched an investigation into the fire. Anyone desirous of assisting the family can contact Wills on telephone number 630-8675.