Laluni St house damaged by fire

-plugged in iron left on bed

A family of four counted its blessings yesterday morning after members of the Guyana Fire Service prevented a fire, which charred the top floor of its two-storey Laluni Street home, from spreading and consuming the rest of the building.

Fire Chief Marlon Gentle told Stabroek News that preliminary investigations revealed that the fire was caused by a plugged in iron which was left resting on a bed in one of the house’s bedrooms for hours after the family left for church.

He said the Fire Service received word of the fire around 11:16 which prompted the response of the Alberttown Fire Station, which is just a few minutes from the Laluni Street, Queenstown location. Alberttown was subsequently backed up by the Central Fire Station and they worked together to put the fire out.

Fire-fighters were able to put out the fire in a matter of minutes after they arrived at the scene. As such the damage done to the house was contained to rooms on its top floor (Chevy Devonish Photo)
Fire-fighters were able to put out the fire in a matter of minutes after they arrived at the scene. As such the damage done to the house was contained to rooms on its top floor (Chevy Devonish Photo)

When Stabroek News arrived on the scene close to noon, the fire had already been quelled and several persons were seen crying and otherwise lamenting the damage the fire had caused. The inhabitants of the home however, Elaine Bobb and her grandchildren, did not arrive until about noon.

Asked what transpired in the bedroom before the family left the house yesterday morning, Bobb told firefighters that her 15-year-old granddaughter pressed a shirt for her to wear to church. The girl confirmed her grandmother’s account to the firefighters and added that she did the pressing in her room on her bed and that she plugged out the iron and a fan before she and the rest of the family left for church. One of the firefighters told her however that both items were still plugged in after the fire was put out. Moreover, she was told that the iron was found lying on the bed, and that this was likely the cause of the fire.

Workers from Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL), which turned up to disconnect power to the building, explained to Stabroek News that the plugged in iron would have had to have been left lying on the bed for as much as two hours before creating conditions conducive for a fire. He also speculated that “breeze” probably got into the room and fed the blaze. The girl’s room, in which the fire started, suffered the most damage. It, as well as everything in it, was completely charred.

The bathroom and toilet area just behind her room also sustained heavy damage. Another bedroom, which sits opposite the girl’s, was also damaged while a bedroom in front of hers, as well as the upstairs living room, had their walls and ceilings burnt. The downstairs rooms were mostly untouched by the fire although they suffered some water damage.

Bobb told fire-fighters that she was in church when she was alerted to the fire. The woman said she usually ignores her phone while in church but yesterday decided to follow up a missed call she received. She said that her granddaughter texted the person who called her phone and he told her that her house was on fire.

Things took a turn for the worse when a male relative arrived. The man was heard chastising the children who stay in the house. The man then dealt a slap to the face of a girl, much to the disfavour of onlookers, the firefighters particularly.

The ceilings and wall of the living room were charred and the items within suffered some water damage. (Chevy Devonish Photo)
The ceilings and wall of the living room were charred and the items within suffered some water damage. (Chevy Devonish Photo)

Gentle told the family he understood the situation but saw no need for violence, while another fire-fighter noted that “he knock the girl like she is a big man,” and registered his annoyance with the display. After she was slapped the girl could be seen crying inconsolably while holding her jaw and crying out for pain.

Despite the fire and the confusion around her, Bobb kept her composure. The woman was thankful that the house, which she is still making mortgage payments for, was still standing in spite of the damage. She said that she had been fasting all of last week, and speculated that the damage might have been worse had it not been for her being a “child of god.”.

“We can sleep on the floor, we can sleep anywhere,” she said as she expressed her appreciation to the fire service for their “good work.”




















More in Local News

The newly commissioned $26.5 million Student Loan Agency, located at the University of Guyana Turkeyen’s campus

UG loan defaulters face travel ban

Government yesterday outlined proposed measures to ensure that University of Guyana (UG) students repay their loans, including barring those with outstanding debts from leaving the country.

default placeholder

Sexually-abused girls, ages 13 to 15, largest group in children’s homes

Over the last ten years, the number of children in institutional care in Guyana has increased by almost 50%, with girls between the ages of 13 and 15, many of whom have been victims of sexual abuse, representing the largest single age group.

default placeholder

ExxonMobil seeking more acreage for oil search

American oil firm ExxonMobil is seeking to acquire more acreage offshore Guyana and a top executive has reiterated that the plan for production is “probably early into the next decade at this point.” In a quarterly earnings call with analysts yesterday, ExxonMobil’s Vice President, Investor Relations and Secretary Jeffrey J.

default placeholder

Troy records second quarter drop in gold production

Australian mining company Troy Resources Limited has produced 34,740 ounces of gold for the year up to the end of June at its Karouni gold project here and adverse weather conditions and teething problems at its mill are being blamed for hindering operations in the last quarter.

default placeholder

GGMC workers to get six weeks’ pay bonus for 2015

While they anticipate as much as a 25% increase in salary for 2016, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) workers yesterday welcomed an announcement by government of a one-off six weeks’ payout for last year.

Leroy Bennett

Teen repairman dies after fall from rice mill’s roof

A young repairman lost his life yesterday when he fell from the roof of the Ancient County Rice Mill, in Berbice.


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: