Two households, one on the East Coast and the other in North Ruimveldt, were counting their blessings on Easter Sunday after they escaped the fires which ravaged their homes.
The first of the fires occurred around 04:00 hrs at the home of Roy Maynard, which sits on 11th Street, Paradise Housing Scheme, East Coast Demerara (ECD). Maynard, who once taught at the St. Stanislaus Secondary, is blind, but was able to get himself out of the house before the entire building was engulf-ed, eyewitnesses say.
He was not around when Stabroek News visited the scene yesterday but neighbours say firemen determined that the fire’s origin might have been electrical in nature. One woman, who lives just a door down from Maynard told this publication that a fireman said the fire started after the man’s laptop charger overheated as he was charging the device.
Maynard reportedly told members of the Guyana Fire Service that he was lying near the laptop as it was charging, and began to feel heat. When he felt the heat, Maynard reportedly said, he quickly made his way out of the house before alerting neighbours to what he was sure was a fire in his house.
The man’s home was reduced to a charred wooden frame, while his neighbour to the west had most of the length of the gutter on the eastern side of her house melted. Also, a few of the windows on the bottom flat of her home broke due to the intensity of the heat.
She said the wind is much stronger during the daylight hours, and speculated that the damage to her own house could have been worse had the fire occurred later in the day when the winds became stronger.
The second fire occurred at 2927 Laylou Street, North Ruimveldt between 08:30 hrs and 09:00 hrs yesterday. Jennifer Paddy lived at the house with her partner.
Residents of the area said that Paddy was seen leaving the house around 07:30 hrs., while her partner was seen leaving shortly after. Sometime later, flames were seen emanating from the back, left hand side of the upper flat.
The upper flat, which was mostly made of wood, was demolished within minutes, despite the prompt reaction of members of the Guyana Fire Service, while the concrete bottom-flat was mostly unaffected by the fire. Nevertheless, the bottom flat suffered severe water damage, and the floor of the wooden top-flat collapsed into the bottom flat.
The house to the west of the burnt structure had a portion of its gutter, and a few of its window louvres destroyed by the heat generated by the fire. Both Paddy and her partner were taken into custody by police and are assisting with investigations.