A prisoner who is in the lockups at the Diamond/Grove Police Station, East Bank Demerara (EBD) allegedly started a fire today after he was denied the request of having a cigarette from an officer. However, the authorities have since managed to bring the situation under control.
Reports are that the fire began sometime around noon today when the man asked a female rank on duty if she would allow him the opportunity of having a cigarette which he wished to smoke.
According to a relative of another prisoner, the officer denied him such, and this prompted the inmate to “make a lot of noise.”
“One of them tell her to give the man a cigarette to calm him down because he frustrated but she said that she isn’t giving him anything to calm him down. Then he say how he going to start a fire, and she say how if any fire start she not opening any door that they have to stay in there basically…but the man frustrated too because he just come out of jail and them police pick he up just like that and tell he how he getting lock up for some old robbery,” the relative explained.
INews understands that some family members and friends were at the police station during visiting hours to take meals for their loved ones when the fire broke out.
They were prevented from entering the building and handing over the food to the prisoners, another woman stated.
When INews arrived at the scene, fire tenders were already at the location and police ranks with firearms fanned out across the station’s perimeter securing the location. Media operatives were not allowed inside of the compound to see the extent of the damage to the building, but it was evident that there was water damage inside of the station due to firefighters extinguishing the blaze.
Senior officers were seen inspecting the police station and speaking to the female rank who is said to have been the one to “deny the request of a cigarette”.
It is unclear at this point of time as to how the prisoner was able to start the fire in the lockups and what measures will be put in place to prevent a recurrence of this at this police station.
Earlier last month, inmates at the Camp Street jailhouse began a deadly riot which claimed the lives of 17 prisoners when fire burnt down a section of the penitentiary.