Turkeyen fire victim died of smoke inhalation

Former Guyanese Olympic marathon runner Sewsankar, who died after a fire at his home on Tuesday, was yesterday laid to rest.

The 76-year-old man was pulled out of his bathtub by fire fighters after his Turkeyen home was engulfed in flames, just minutes before midnight.

He was trapped for nearly half an hour, after seeking refuge in his bathtub. Sewsankar filled the tub with water and lay down in it, waiting for someone to rescue him.

He died shortly after he was rescued by two firefighters who cut open the heavily grilled windows of the house to get to him. A post-mortem examination found that smoke inhalation was the cause of death.

Sewsankar had survived the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York. He had been on the 34th floor of one of the buildings at the time of the attack. He also survived several heart surgeries in the past.

Fire officials are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire. But some residents blamed it on several bouts of low voltage that occurred earlier that night while another set believed it could have been arson.

Around 11.50 pm, five minutes after the blaze started on Monday, firefighters responded to a call that a house was on fire in Turkeyen. Three fire stations responded to the call, dispatching over 20 firefighters.

The fireman in charge, Joseph Mc Donald, had stated that because the house was heavily grilled, it barred the firemen from gaining access to Sewsankar.

He said the grillwork left no space for escape, forcing them to cut it to reach the elderly man.

Residents lambasted the fire stations for not “being prepared,” and what they said was “slow work” to rescue the elderly man. Angry relatives lamented that an ambulance should have been dispatched to the scene because someone was trapped and could have been seriously injured. One relative complained that he should not have been transported in the back of a police van.

Sewsankar’s son, Sonny told Stabroek News that around 11.45 pm he returned home and saw their living room on fire. And his father was screaming for help. “I run to the back of the yard and run up the back step but the fire was moving quick and the back started to ketch,” he said.

“He was hollering “someone help me! Help me! And I tell him go into the bathroom and stay there. I couldn’t save him because by the time I opened the door the smoke was thick and the gas bottle exploded,” he said.

Sonny said he yelled for neighbours to help him save his father while instructing him to fill the tub with water and lie in it until someone rescued him.

When Sewsankar’s body was lifted out of the house, villagers started screaming for an ambulance but there was no ambulance. He was placed in the tray of a police pickup truck and taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where he was pronounced dead.

More in Local News

Jaikarran Chandradeo

Two more held as cops look for motive in Corentyne triple murder

Police yesterday detained two more persons as they continued to try to unravel the motive behind the gruesome shooting to death of two men and a teenage boy, whose bodies were discovered at Kokerite Savannah, Mibicuri Creek, on Friday.

These children enjoyed being pushed home by a cousin


Riverstown, a village on the Essequibo Coast, is pressed between Pomona and Airy Hall. Once you cross the railway-like bridge over a black water creek, you’re in Riverstown, where there are more than 700 residents.

Raphael Trotman

SARU operating legally despite absence of legislation

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said on Thursday that the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) is operating legally and despite its inability to prosecute persons, it is currently doing investigative work which is part of its mandate.

Dead: Orin Morris

Sophia stevedore killed in freak accident at wharf

The body of a stevedore attached to the John Fernandes Limited, Water Street wharf was retrieved from the Demerara River on Thursday evening, more than a day after he was involved in a freak accident.

The old abandoned Moco-Moco Hydropower Station

2018 deadline set for completion of Moco-Moco hydropower facility

Due diligence is currently being done on two firms that had bid to rehabilitate the Moco-Moco hydropower facility and the project should be completed by the end of 2018, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson says.

Devika Tinsarran after she lost all her hair due to chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer.

Breast cancer survivor turned advocate urges women to get screened early

For many who receive a breast cancer diagnosis, hearing from others who have survived it can be a great source of comfort and support.


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: