Fire victim Nonpareil businessman died of heart attack –autopsy finds

Hanuman Singh

Hanuman Singh, the Nonpareil, East Coast Demerara businessman who succumbed in hospital after he lost his home and businesses in a fire last Friday, died as a result of a heart attack.

Reshma Nehaul, one of the dead man’s daughters, confirmed the findings of the autopsy that was performed yesterday morning by government pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh.

Nehaul said while she and her family are making preparations for her father’s burial, they are currently seeking shelter in a section under the burnt remains of the Lot 360 Block 12 Nonpareil house. This, she said, is just temporary until they can decide on their next move.

Singh, 57, also known as ‘Latchie’ and ‘Birdman,’ was put on life-support at the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was hospitalised on the morning after the fire. He had been found in front of the National Zoo on Saturday morning, hours after going missing upon learning of the news of the fire.

He succumbed on Sunday afternoon while doctors were making preparations to have him transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital. “Doctors told us that his heart failed him and they didn’t get to move him to the ICU…,” Nehaul previously told Stabroek News.

On Friday night, around 9, Singh’s two-storey property, which housed a supermarket, ice-cream parlour and a newly-constructed bar in the lower flat, was gutted within a matter of minutes.

Singh, his wife Lalita, their daughters Nehaul and Ashanee Singh, and Nehaul’s son, all lived at the property.

No one was home at the time of the fire. It was suspected that the fire started in the ceiling of the top flat of the house shortly after electricity was restored in the area following an outage.

Members of the family were in Enterprise overseeing the operations of another bar when they were informed of the fire.

Nehaul had told Stabroek News that by time they got to their home it was already engulfed and nothing was saved. 

Her father, she had related, was nowhere to be seen when they arrived at the property and searches for him were fruitless. 

The following morning, she had said, they continued searching for him until they were contacted by a relative, who spotted him and immediately summoned them to the Zoo.

However, by the time they arrived, Singh had already been transported to the hospital by an ambulance. It is assumed that Singh either walked or rode to the location after seeing his house on fire.

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