Pensioner injured after high voltage sparks fire at Leonora house

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Palpoo Ram

A 65-year-old man was injured in a fire which erupted on Saturday last at his Leonora, West Coast Demerara (WCD) home following an episode of high voltage in the area.

Palpoo Ram is now suffering burns about his hands, feet and abdomen.

Reports are that during the wee hours of Saturday, the man was watching television in his living room when he fell asleep while the device was still on.

His wife Shanta told this publication that, at around midnight, her daughter got up to start making snacks to sell in the market. She also got up at the same time, went to lower the volume on the television, and returned to bed.

However, shortly after, she heard her husband calling out for, “Fire!”

“Me open me eye and me see the whole inside red, red, red, and me run out…and me start holler. And when me open the door, the fire mek one thing and push like,” the woman recalled.

“People come and they start out the fire,” she said, referring to persons in the neighbourhood.

“They run with bucket and bottle and they start throw the water…They get it to out, but me husband get bad-bad burn; he two foot, he belly, he hand. He belly and he foot deh real bad,” the woman explained.

The fire scorched the roof and floor, and destroyed the television set, a fan, the sofa, and the wall-divider.

Shortly after the incident, the family contacted the Guyana Power and Light Inc as well as a private electrician.

The electrician arrived first and tested the voltage, which had a reading of 269V. When GPL arrived at around midday on Saturday, technicians conducted another test, which had a reading of 259V. The woman said a second test conducted shortly after by the GPL technicians showed a reading of 237V.

The woman said she was advised to go into a GPL office and fill out a form for redress, but she has not yet done so.

“They say fuh go in [to the office], but me nah know how to full the form, so what me gon go and do deh?” the woman contended.

According to the woman, it was a terrifying experience for the family, and she called on GPL to ensure the services being provided to consumers are safe.

“What happen to we could happen to anybody…we got to thank God that nothing more worse happen to we,” she noted.