Arson suspected in Sophia blaze, ten homeless

Arson is suspected to be the cause of a fire in Sophia on Saturday night which destroyed a four-apartment building and has left ten persons homeless.

At around 11.15 pm,  neighbours recalled seeing flames emanating from the rear of the ‘A’ Field, Sophia house and sounded an alarm.

They called the Fire Service and two fire engines responded from the Campbellville and the Alberttown Fire Station.

Yonnet Roberts pointing to the remains of her home.

Yonnet Roberts, who shared the building with her three children and their families, said she believes the fire was set to her house. The suspect who she identified as her ex-partner was seen in close proximity to the house on Saturday night. Roberts went on to explain that the man verbally abused her as she left the house around 9.30 pm to go to the National Park. She stated that after she ignored him, he told her “you gon see wha gone happen,” but Roberts said she did not take it seriously.

Her jilted lover would always verbally abuse her but she never took him on and never reported him to the police, Roberts said.

“I wasn’t at home when the fire started. I left my daughter, son-in-law and their three children home. The guy who burn the place was left around here…,” she stated, adding that she got a call around 11.30 pm that her house was on fire.

Roberts further stated that when she got to the scene the building she once called home had been burnt to the ground and nothing was saved.

“My daughter and her family had to run out the house. By time they know about the fire the back apartment I de living in de already bun…”, Roberts lamented.

Neighbours were unable to help put out the blaze since it quickly consumed the building.

When it arrived, the fire service was challenged to put out the fire after the truck responding from the Campbellville Fire Station became stuck at the side of a street.

Officer in Charge of Operations, Compton Sparman explained that in the rush to get to the fire, the truck drove on the parapet as it manoeuvred away from a car which was parked on the road. He said that the parapet was muddy due to the recent rains and works  carried out by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) and as a result the fire truck became stuck.

The fire truck parked on the street after it was removed yesterday afternoon from the parapet

He called on members of the public to act on hearing sirens, noting that if the driver of the vehicle had responded and moved they would not have been stuck on the parapet.  A bulldozer from Chung’s Global was loaned to the fire service to help remove the truck yesterday afternoon.

However, Sparman said that although the fire truck became stuck it did not hinder the work of firefighters who connected pipes to access water from the said truck and extinguished what was left of the fire. He thanked the Mayor and City Council, Chung’s Global and GWI for their assistance.

According to Roberts, she lived in the building for almost 15 years. The woman said she is willing to accept any form of assistance from members of the public. She, however, said that she would be grateful if the government through the Central Housing and Planning Authority would assist by giving her a piece of land since she has been squatting on the government reserve. Persons wishing to offer assistance to the family can contact Roberts on 680 9752.






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