Mother of seven dies in Enterprise Gardens blaze

The charred body of a mother of seven was recovered from the rubble after a fire destroyed her house at Enterprise Gardens, East Coast Demerara (ECD) yesterday afternoon.

Dead is Amilia Sookdeo, 56. The house where she was the lone occupant was reduced to rubble by the fire which began sometime after 4 pm yesterday. The woman had shared the one-bedroom house with her husband, Terrence Prescott, a cane harvester.  At the time of the fire he was not at home.

Stabroek News was told that the woman was trapped in the house and first responders were unable to rescue her since the entire structure was engulfed in flames within minutes.

The origin of the fire is not yet clear and the fire service and police are investigating.

The police in a statement said the husband told investigators that at around 1.30 pm he locked the house and went into the backlands to pick green mangoes where he received a call that his house was on fire. He immediately rushed home only to find  the dwelling reduced to rubble.

He also informed the police that the woman left the house since last Sunday and did not return, which was her usual habit. It is unclear at what point she returned home yesterday.

Residents had varying views on what could have caused the fire, but noted that the house was not equipped with electricity. According to the neighbours nothing was saved from the house.

Residents explained to Stabroek News that  the house was constructed approximately two years ago from discarded wood. “Is everybody help him to  build the house… they collected wood from all over and put up that house and the man is well known so everyone help to build the house. It was a one-bedroom house,” a neighbour said.

The residents said two fire tenders responded to the fire and managed to put it out.

Meanwhile, one of the woman’s seven children, Shondel Prescott told this newspaper that she was at her home in Bareroot, ECD when a boy informed her of the tragic event. She said she dropped what she was doing and went immediately to the scene. When she arrived, she said the building was already burnt and the fire had been put out. She stated that she is clueless as  to what went wrong and what triggered the fire.

The body is presently at the Lyken Funeral Home awaiting a post-mortem. The woman is survived by four daughters, three sons and her husband.

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