An early morning fire in Ann’s Grove, suspected to be the work of an arsonist, has left a prison nurse and her young daughter with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Keisha Singh’s family home at Lot 8 Main Street, Ann’s Grove, East Coast Demerara, was destroyed following a fire that started around 2 am yesterday. According to the woman, no one had been at home at the time of the fire. Instead, she said, she and her seven-year-old daughter were spending the evening at her mother’s home, also in the village.
Singh, 30, revealed that she had been asleep when her mother’s landline began ringing. Though no one answered the first time around, the insistent caller tried again. Eventually, Singh’s niece answered the phone and learned of the fire.
By the time Singh arrived on the scene, the roof of her home was already gone, while firefighters were contending with the blaze. She added that the area’s lack of water forced the firefighters to seek water from another street.
An eyewitness explained that several persons had attempted to throw water on the burning house. However, the heat was too intense and they were forced to retreat.
Anxiously, Singh watched her life’s earnings literally go up in flames as the firefighters went in search of water to douse the blaze. By the time they returned, she said, the house was almost totally burnt.
A neighbour said that she was awakened by the cries of “fire” made by several persons outside of her home. Alarmed, the woman got up to observe the scene.
The fire services, the neighbour said, arrived about 20 minutes after she had awoken.
According to Singh, no other house had been in danger from the fire; on the left of her home is an unoccupied home while to her right is an empty lot.
Singh said that she believed the fire was deliberately set. Another one of the woman’s neighbours was awakened by the smell of heavy smoke. Curious, the woman went to inspect the source of the acrid smell and observed that though the house was not in flames there was smoke escaping from it. The woman also claimed to have seen the back and front doors ajar while a light downstairs continued to burn.
Several neighbours have supported these claims, adding to Singh’s concerns that an arsonist may have been involved. According to the woman, her mother had been the last person in the home and had secured it before leaving hours before the fire. She further added that the back door of the one-story home is never used.
When questioned about other possibilities, Singh emphasised that no appliance had been left plugged in and there had been no gas in the home at the time of the fire. She added that if the fire had been electrical in origin, the light downstairs would have gone out.
Investigations into the origin of the fire are ongoing. According to Singh, her overseas-based uncle owns the home and she was uncertain whether it was insured. For now, Singh and her daughter will be staying at her mother’s home until further notice.