GPL probing claimed reports of faulty transformer after La Jalousie fire

Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) has commenced an internal investigation into the claims by residents of La Jalousie, West Coast Demerara that they reported a faulty transformer, which is being blamed for a fire in which five persons lost their homes on Sunday morning.

Parbatti Bhagia, 62, her son, her daughter-in-law and her two grandchildren had been the occupants of the two-storey house, which was destroyed. Afterward, Bhagia and neighbours said that they were sure that the fire had started as a result of one of the transformers, which they said has been malfunctioning.

According to the residents, the area has been affected by fluctuations in the electricity supply and sometimes the transformer would even emit smoke. They had said that even though they made several complaints to GPL, none of them had been addressed.

GPL’s Public Relations Officer Shevion Sears told Stabroek News that an internal investigation has been launched to ascertain whether it is true that multiple complaints were made about the transformer and nothing had been done.

“We started our own investigation with regards to the phone calls being made,” she said, while pointing out that the investigation has hit an obstacle since none of the residents are able to provide their reference number for the complaints.

“There’s no evidence and we have to do an investigation and we have to investigate everything. We have to ascertain, firstly, whether the calls were made and an internal investigation is being done with regards to the reports of the transformer,” Sears noted.

With respect to the cause of the fire, Sears explained that the Guyana Fire Service has to do its own investigation to determine what the source of the fire was.

“GPL has to wait on the fire service to deliver the report, then GPL will know who is to be held accountable,” she added.

All of Bhagia’s family’s belongings, including money, clothes and important documents went up in flames. They are now staying at the homes of family and neighbours. Anyone willing to offer them assistance to help rebuild their home can contact them on 652-5860.

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