Brothers, lodger lose millions in Meadowbrook fire

A fire, suspected to have been started by a kerosene stove left unattended, gutted a Meadowbrook, Georgetown home late Sunday evening, leaving three persons, including two brothers with millions in losses.

Kempton Johnson
Kempton Johnson

Stabroek News understands that the fire started around 23:40 hrs at the lot 136 Silverbali Street, Meadowbrook, George-town house which was jointly owned by two brothers, George and Frederick Clarke. Another individual, Kempton Johnson had been living with the Clarkes for a few years.

When contacted yesterday, Fire Chief Marlon Gentle confirmed that investigations so far have revealed that the fire started from the kerosene stove.

All three occupants were at home at time of the blaze and losses were estimated to be in the millions, since the concrete flat house was fully furnished. The Clarkes, according to Johnson, were asleep.

The remains of the Lot 136 Silverbali Street, Meadowbrook house
The remains of the Lot 136 Silverbali Street, Meadowbrook house

When Stabroek News visited the area yesterday, Johnson was sitting outside the burnt house contemplating his next move. The bus driver said all his documents were damaged in the fire and he was hoping to approach the Guyana Relief Council for assistance.

Johnson explained that he was in his bedroom when he heard a loud sound. “I went lying down relaxing and I hear a loud noise like something fall but I didn’t take it for nothing because right over the house is a tree and things does fall on the zinc,” he said.

The burnt remains inside the house after the fire.
The burnt remains inside the house after the fire.

It was shortly after the sound was heard, according to Johnson, that he smelled smoke. He then stepped out of the bedroom and saw the fire in the hallway.

He said he attempted to extinguish the fire but before he could have returned with water, the fire had already gotten “out of hand.”

Johnson related that the kerosene stove was on a table in the kitchen. He assumes that the backdoor could have hit table causing the stove to fall. However, he could not recall leaving the stove alight.

The Guyana Fire Service was alerted and responded a few minutes after but was unable to save anything.

A neighbour, Shenneiza Arthur said she was asleep and had woken up to close her window when she saw the house on fire.

Arthur said she immediately informed other residents, who were very supportive. “The persons in the community came out… if it wasn’t for them the fire could have been worse,” she said.

Efforts to speak to the Clarke brothers proved futile.

This newspaper also understood that there was another fire early yesterday morning at ‘D’ Field, Sophia. Reports revealed that the fire started after there was a dispute between two individuals and that it damaged the interior of a house. Several efforts made to contact the occupants proved fruitless.

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