Two families lost their homes after a midday fire at Cummings Lodge yesterday.
The mysterious fire destroyed one of the Lot 328 Fifth Street, South East Cummings Lodge houses, while the upper flat of the other was razed.
While the origin of the fire is unknown, a neighbour related that around 12pm she saw thick, black smoke emanating from the house at the rear of the property. “We don’t know how it catch fire and by the time the fire service came the whole thing done bun down. Within 10 to 15 minutes, it catch to the other front house and bun up the upstairs,” the woman related, while pointing out that it took the fire service some 30 minutes to arrive on the scene.
However, when the neighbours realised the two houses were on fire, they grabbed buckets and used water from the trenches to try to put out the fire but were unsuccessful.
When Stabroek News arrived at the property, a crowd of neighbours and onlookers gathered around as Roopnarine Sookraj, the owner of one of the two houses, and his family searched through the charred remains.
According to Sookraj, he was at Wales, West Bank Demerara, fixing his vehicle when he received a message from one of his two daughters that their house was on fire. “Nobody was home at the time so when I come I see the house was already bun down. The fire service and everybody was there,” the distraught man related.
Sookraj pointed out that while he lived with his two daughters at the house at front of the property, the other house at the back was occupied by two tenants.
The tenants, brothers Trevor and Devon Thomas, related that they lost all of their important documents and other things in the house. At the time of the fire, they were at work and it was not until after midday that they were alerted to what was happening.
“Everybody said they don’t know what cause it but the smoke start from the back house and spread and come to the front house,” Sookraj said, while pointing out that the back house was destroyed.
Counting his losses, the man related that he had only recently furnished his home with “modern” furniture and he estimated his loss at about $30M.