More than 10 persons lost their home in a fire on Monday night on the East Bank of Berbice.

Nothing was saved from the fire that gutted the two-storey wooden building at 163 Ball Field Street, Edinburgh, East Bank Berbice, which has left Marcia Moses and her family seeking help for the New Year.

It occurred sometime around 9pm and so far its origin remains unknown. However, many neighbours suggested that the fire might have been a caused by the Guyana Power and Light Company, since sparks from the lantern post had been observed.
Up to yesterday, smoke was still billowing at the scene and a small fire was starting up back at one point.

From the Glasgow Housing Scheme home of a family member at whose home she was seeking refuge, Moses, 52, told reporters yesterday that she, her five children, Odessa, Onika, Olita, Marvin and Marcel, and her four grandchildren, Tyrese, Tyra, Mark and Amol, who occupied the house, were all present when the fire started. Another of her daughters, Samantha and her two children, including a nine-month-old, were visiting at the time.

Debra David points to the destruction
Debra David points to the destruction

Moses said she was not aware of the fire until neighbours started to shout for her. When she exited the home, she saw fire emerging from the upper flat of the building. As a result, everyone rushed out while neighbours formed a bucket brigade to put out the flames. However, the fire spread quickly.

Stabroek News was told that by the time Guyana Fire Service got to the fire, it was too late.

The family estimated that it lost over $2M in property from the home, which was well furnished, in addition to the important documents such as passports and birth certificates.

One of Moses’ daughters, Onika, who is a staff nurse at the New Amsterdam Hospital, said she lost a lot of valuable items in the fire. Among them were all her nursing textbooks, worth approximately $500,000, her nursing certificates and her uniform. Her brother, Mark, who is expected to write CSEC examinations in May/June, also lost all his textbooks and assignments.

Debra David, 39, a vendor who was the proprietor of the house, was devastated by the news of the fire.

Although she had no belongings on the property, David said life was hard for her and when she built herself a home she felt that she had accomplished something in life. She recalled working with GuySuCo in rain and sun chopping sugarcane, weeding, filling punts with cane and throwing fertilizer. She was also a single-parent and she received assistance from Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett to send her children to school. She added that she had plans to move back into the house sometime in the near future.

Marica Moses and some of her children
Marica Moses and some of her children

David had allowed Moses and her family to occupy the house over the past three months. She had become acquainted with the family through her nephew and she said when they asked to live in the home, she said yes because she knew how hard it is to find a home.

She spoke highly of Moses’ family, describing them as extremely wonderful, well-mannered people who kept the environment clean.

Anyone wishing to assist the families can contact David on 652 8538 and 694 2092 and Moses on 628 7692 or 331 0790. Moses said that any assistance is welcomed.

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