Five persons lost their home when a fire, believed to be of electrical origin, engulfed a two-story house at Non Pareil, East Coast Demerara yesterday.
A distraught Tonza Edie wept as she took in the results of the fire that ravaged her sister’s home, which caught on fire around 1pm.
Edie’s ten-year-old son was at home at the time the fire started and he later said that he heard an explosion on the upper storey and ran out.
Edie said her sister is residing in the United States and had left her to take care of the house.
She was at work when she got the call from a neighbour, who told her that the house was on fire and that she needed to get there quickly.
“We smell the smoke and see the fire blazing in the room,” a neighbour recalled. “When I look out the window into their yard, I saw the lil child outside,” she added, mentioning that there weren’t any adults at home at the time and that the child was home early because his school had classes up to midday.
“The boy was outside and the middle room was smoking with fire,” the neighbour said.
Neighbours quickly alerted the fire service and rushed to try to put out the fire. “We all try to get hose and out the fire, then the GuySuCo fire [engine] at Enmore Estate arrive and out it, but the fire de don start ketch on another house,” another neighbour said.
“The fire department came when everything done,” Edie said. “I lost everything,” she continued, breaking down in tears.
Edie said the house was fully furnished. “I had money stored up in one of the wardrobe… fridge, my children laptop, all my clothes… all my personal stuff gone,” she grieved, repeatedly saying that she didn’t know how she was going to inform her sister about the fire.
K Latchman, one of Edie’s neighbours, said that she was sewing on her machine when she smelled the smoke. “The next thing I know was it started to ketch on my house, it break the windows right where I was sitting, sewing,” she said, recalling that she then ran out of the house screaming.
Latchman suggested that a power fluctuation may have been responsible for the fire. “We had blackout in the midday. It does usually get low voltage in the area steady,” she explained.
“The low voltage is fluctuate and we reported it to GPL because every time we get blackout the wire outside the house does spark,” Edie added, mentioning that the wire connected from the GPL pole to their house had withered. “We tell them and they came and thatch it up with tape but it does always spark. So every time I does have to take off the main switch,” Edie continued.
When Stabroek News spoke to one the fire-fighters about the origin of the fire, he explained that he was unable to comment on it as it was the fire prevention officer’s job to determine the cause.