An elderly couple burnt to death on Sunday night after bandits broke into their home at Good Hope, East Bank Essequibo and set it alight.
Reports are that Mohamed Munir, 75, and his wife, Jamilla Munir, 70, who were popular rice farmers, were secured in their bedroom in the heavily grilled house and were unable to escape.
Residents blasted the fire tender, which arrived at the scene about one hour later without water. It accessed water that was available in a nearby drain but that was quickly exhausted.
Residents who were at the scene told Stabroek News that the bandits scaled the veranda and cut the grill before smashing their way in through a glass door.
The bandits apparently poured gasoline in the house and lit the fire in front of the couple’s bedroom after failing to gain entry to it.
Neighnours said they were alerted by the loud screams and the sound of gas bottle exploding.
A relative told Stabroek News that before the building was engulfed, he heard Munir shouting for him and his family.
Some residents also said the man had phoned them and told them that bandits had invaded his property.
He also heard him telling someone to “save the two tractors” and residents drove them out of the yard. His Toyota Surf that was parked under the house was destroyed.
A crowd quickly gathered at the scene and a resident told this newspaper sadly: “The most difficult thing was to watch people dying in there and we couldn’t do anything.”
Early this morning smoke was still emanating from the building and the fire tender returned to the scene.
The police today issued the following press release: