Fire razes Grove home

By Desilon Daniels

Despite the efforts of 4 fire trucks, a Grove mother of three suffered millions of dollars in losses following an afternoon fire which destroyed her home of 18 years.

Vanessa Higgins’s Lot 55 Grove Public Road, East Bank Demerara home, which she shared with her 8-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, was completely destroyed shortly after she left home around 2 pm to attend a church member’s funeral yesterday. According to the woman, she had just arrived at the church when she received a call from a neighbourhood mechanic who informed her that her home was on fire. Initially, she had believed it was a joke because she had not left home long before the call. However, the man’s insistence drew her from the funeral back to her home.

On arrival there, she said, she was met with a half-burnt home. Though a fire truck from the Grove fire station was already on site, there was no water available to douse the blaze.

Seeing the fire truck’s shortcomings, several persons came together and tried to extinguish the fire, taking water from the trenches and valiantly fighting the fire with it. However, their brave actions were not enough and the fire blazed on.

Helplessly, Higgins watched her home burn until 3 fire tenders from the West Ruimveldt and the Central fire stations arrived to offer assistance.

Vanessa Higgins’ home after the fire
Vanessa Higgins’ home after the fire
The Grove, East Bank Demerara home of Vanessa Higgins engulfed in flames yesterday. At left is Kavita Lall’s home which was damaged but saved.
The Grove, East Bank Demerara home of Vanessa Higgins engulfed in flames yesterday. At left is Kavita Lall’s home which was damaged but saved.

Higgins was at a loss as to what may have caused the fire; she said that no one was at home at the time and she had not left many appliances plugged in. Though the cause of the fire is unknown, residents of the area speculated that it may have been caused by a malfunctioning GPL transformer which was seen sparking furiously, moments before the fire started.

When Stabroek News arrived on the scene, throngs of persons stood around the damaged buildings while two fire tenders were nearby.

Fire officers were observed trying to extinguish small fires that were still burning and ensuring that the fire was fully doused. Minutes before this publication’s arrival, two fire trucks were seen heading back to their respective fire stations.

Several bystanders lamented that, though the first vehicle had arrived quickly, there was no water in the Diamond fire station truck.

“The main resource they ain’t got. What sense they come fuh? They seh ‘water is life, save it’ but they ain’t save nothing to come with,” Ryan Sukhu said. The man, a resident of Grove, continued that after the firefighters arrived, they took a long time to get themselves together.

A friend of Higgins shared her disgust as well, opining that if there was water the home could’ve been saved.

Higgins’ neighbour Kavita Lall revealed that she was at home alone at the time of the fire. “I was lying down taking a rest when I heard a big noise. When I came out I saw a set of boys running for water yelling ‘Fire! Fire!’ I was so confused I ran out of my house yelling for help.” the woman said.

Carla Archer (left), Vanessa Higgins’s 18-year-old daughter, comforts her mother after yesterday’s fire.
Carla Archer (left), Vanessa Higgins’s 18-year-old daughter, comforts her mother after yesterday’s fire.

Though her home was not burnt, it received extensive water damage. A number of her windows were also broken in an effort to let out the smoke and the heat. Lall, grateful that many of her house’s items had been protected, said she was blessed to have her home saved from the fire.

The woman shares her home with her husband and two children.

Thirty-nine-year-old Higgins was not as fortunate; all of the items in her home were damaged, including two vehicles that were parked in her yard. One of the vehicles, a Canter, was purchased 3 weeks ago and was partially damaged. The other, a CRV, was completely damaged.

Unsure of where she will be staying, a distraught Higgins said that her mother lives in Linden. Her sister, who received a call about the fire and arrived to find the house razed, lives in Kuru Kururu.

Higgins, a daycare teacher during the day and a vendor on the seawall during the night, said her home was uninsured.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Stealth flight plane grounded in Anguilla

One of two planes that left Guyana illegally under the cover of darkness on Saturday has been given clearance to leave Anguilla and the other was grounded in the British overseas territory, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson has said.

The remains of the home Satesh Jagmohan was occupying when tragedy struck

De Willem teen burns to death in house fire

A 19-year-old labourer perished in a mysterious fire which destroyed a two-bedroom house in the De Willem, West Coast Demerara (WCD) squatting area on Saturday night.

default placeholder

ExxonMobil set to drill more oil wells

American oil firm ExxonMobil will be drilling more wells after an appraisal well confirmed the presence of a significant deposit of oil in the location close to where the first well was drilled.

default placeholder

Implement anti-discrimination laws quickly – outgoing US Embassy Deputy

It is important that Guyana move quickly to enact anti-discrimination laws as discrimination and homophobia “is a very real problem” for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) community here, outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has said.

Ishaan Caines

Coverden cop dies in Bamia accident

A police rank died on Saturday afternoon after he lost control of the car he was driving and it flipped over in the vicinity of the Bamia Creek on the Linden/Soesdyke highway.

A section of the gathering (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

Protected zones to be set up in all 10 regions

President David Granger on Friday said that protected areas will be established in all 10 regions of the country. The Ministry of the Presidency said in a release on Saturday that he was speaking at the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana’s (THAG) President’s Awards Ceremony 2016.

default placeholder

GPL invites bids for 11 MW Anna Regina plant

The Guyana Power and Light is inviting bids for the construction of an 11 MW plant at Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast and one for 5.5 MW at Canefield on the East Berbice.

default placeholder

Waste management soaking up BV/Triumph NDC funds

Waste management is taking up over 50% of the revenues of the Beterverwagting /Triumph Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) and councillors who were elected at historic local government polls are now confronting problems which have led to frustration with one already contemplating resignation.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: