Mahaicony house gutted in suspected arson

An early morning fire yesterday gutted a two-storey house at Mahaicony Public Road and according to Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle arson is suspected.

Gentle, when contacted, also recalled that there was a fire at the Lot 7 Cottage Mahaicony house last year but residents had managed to put it out.

He said information received by the fire service revealed that there is a

The gutted remains of Monica Chisholm’s house yesterday
The gutted remains of Monica Chisholm’s house yesterday

bitter dispute involving the property, which is up for sale, and its division.

The matter was also in court and there were some aggrieved parties, he added.

“Those are issues that we have to look at,” Gentle said, while adding that “a building in Cottage Mahaicony going up in fire about 2 am… and nobody living there and no lights on, you have to be suspicious.”

He said that the last person who lived there left about two days ago, according to residents and the building was locked up.

A neighbour said that sometime after midnight, she was awakened by shouts of fire. The woman said that when she looked across, she saw the entire top flat engulfed.

The woman said that neighbours formed a bucket brigade but there was little they could do. The woman said that a fire tender from Mahaica arrived some time later but by then the entire building had been gutted.

Monica Chisholm, an overseas-based Guyanese who owns the property, told this newspaper that no one was in the building at the time of the fire.

At the time, she was at relatives in Berbice, she said, while adding that she missed several telephone calls informing her of the tragedy. When she finally awoke early yesterday morning and returned one of the calls, she was given the tragic news.

The visibly-distraught woman said that she was told that “everything burn down, nothing was saved.”

Asked if anyone usually watches over the property, she responded, “Not really. Is me does tek care of it.” She also said that she had not gotten a chance to speak to fire officials and she did not want to “speculate [on the cause] at this time.” She stressed that she had no idea as to what might have caused the fire and would not point fingers in the circumstance.

Chrisholm said that all the neighbours reported was that they saw fire and everyone ran to help but the flames were too much.

She said that her house was well-furnished. The only part of the house that was untouched was the kitchen. The woman said that on Saturday she and her sister had briefly stopped at the house on their way to Berbice.

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