An early morning fire at the Grove Housing Scheme yesterday left three persons without their home and an elderly man hospitalised after he jumped from the two-storey building to escape the flames.
The fire is believed to have started in the top flat of the Lot 34 Grove Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara residence occupied by the man, who was identified only as “Mr Peters.” Persons in the area said he had suffered a stroke a few months back and had been unable to work since his illness. He is now a patient at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, where he is receiving treatment for a broken arm.
An eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said that at about 1:35am he was awakened by a loud explosion that sounded like it came from the living room of the house.
“After I hear ‘boom,’ I get up right away and I see the front part of the house already on fire and spreading quick. and then I look over and see the old man who does live at the top flat on the ground screaming for pain because he jump from the veranda,” the man said.
He added that another male, who occupied the bottom flat of the two-storey concrete building, picked up the injured man and took him to safety. The man, however, was only fortunate to save his motorcycle, which was parked inside of the home at the time of the fire.
The neighbour said when the fire truck arrived, it only came with a tank full of water and a small hose and fire-fighters were unable to control the fire, which started to scorch other homes in close proximity to the burning building. The neighbour added that another tanker filled with water arrived at 4am, three hours after the fire started.
Yvonne Ramkishore, a neighbour whose house was scorched by the blaze, said that she received a call about 1:35am from her daughter, who informed her of the fire next door.
“I was at friend in South after I done work when she called me and I immediately took a car and headed home where I saw the next door completely burned to the ground and my house from the heat started to ketch, but the fire service put it out,” Ramkishore said.
She was very thankful that her house was not destroyed.
It took fire-fighters one hour to get to the scene of the fire, which had already ripped through the burning house, destroying everything in its path.
At the scene yesterday, two kerosene stoves along with a scorched gas stove still attached to a gas bottle were seen in what appeared to be the kitchen area of the building.