The charred remains of an unidentified person was discovered in the aftermath of a fire at a Wales, West Bank Demerara house yesterday morning.
The house, which was considered a vacation home, was believed to be unoccupied since the owner resides at Timehri, East Bank Demerara.
The origin of the fire was still unknown up to late yesterday but the homeowner, Elizabeth Sattaur, said reports she received from a neighbour suggested that it may have been electrical in nature.
An eyewitness told Stabroek News that around 1.30 am yesterday, a passerby, who was drinking at a nearby shop, saw the fire and sounded an alarm. Shameer Mohammed explained that subsequent to the alarm, both residents and the Wales Estate Fire Service responded.
Mohammed said that despite the timely response by the fire service, the house was quickly engulfed by the flames.
Mohammed added that when Guyana Fire Service firefighters arrived at the scene, they assisted in outing the fire. According to him, the estate fire service faced a difficulty in tackling the fire immediately, since the gate to the compound was locked.
He noted that a police rank who was on the scene scaled the fence and broke the locks to gain entry into the yard of the residence.
According to Sattaur, who is the proprietor of Roti Palace, she learnt of the fire after getting a call from a friend at around 2 am.
She added when she arrived at the Wales home after 3 am, the fire was almost out. At around 4.30 am, she said, the fire fighters discovered the body among the rubble. “After them out the fire, they began investigations and that’s when they told me they found a body,” Sattaur recalled. “When I came here I came for a fire but I never thought they would find a body,” she added.
The woman said she was shocked to learn someone was occupying the house since she is the only one who had keys to the building. She added that the body was found in a crouching position in the bathroom area of the self-contained room in the bottom flat of the home.
She speculated that the person may have been a vagrant.
Asked if she had any idea how the fire started, Sattaur said neighbours told her there was a power outage.
They said when the current returned, the utility post with the power line to her home was sparking, leading her to suspect that the fire may be electrical in origin.
Stabroek News, however, understands that the fire service is working on a number of theories, including possible arson.
Sattaur pointed out that she would normally occupy the home on weekends. She had visited the house two weeks ago and was planning to return this weekend since there is a holiday.
She added that the house was equipped with all modern amenities and conveniences.