Arson suspected in Diamond Secondary blaze

A section of the burnt building

An early morning fire, suspected to have been deliberately set yesterday morning destroyed the Administration building of the Diamond Secondary School on the East Bank of Demerara.

Reports are that around 1.30am, security guards on duty noticed fire emanating from the building.

An alarm was immediately raised and the Guyana Fire Service was summoned.

The administrative section of the building housed the offices of the headteacher, deputy headteacher and teachers along with the computer laboratory and library.

The burnt remains of section of the school

When Stabroek News visited the scene yesterday, investigators were present conducting their probe. Police officers were also seen guarding the premises.

The security guards on duty at the time refused to comment on the fire while residents were also tightlipped.

They recalled being awoken by screams alerting them of the fire. Upon checking, they said they noticed smoke coming from the school.

A source close to the investigation yesterday explained to Stabroek News that while preliminary investigations have been concluded, it is too early at this point to say what might have resulted in the fire.

The raging fire at Diamond Secondary school

However, the source said from all indications, it appeared as though it was deliberately set.

“…..There were some attempts that misled the investigators this morning (yesterday) which of course is some concern as to why anybody would want to do that and then taken into consideration school was closed since the 14th and the building itself was unoccupied. So it’s not that it was in use and somebody left on something or whatever,” the source explained.

Just three weeks ago, the source said a similar incident occurred at the school whereby fire was set to the headmistress office.

However, that fire was quickly brought under control.

The Ministry of Education in a press statement yesterday said that checks were also made by the Guyana Fire Service and these revealed that there was no power surge affecting the area at the time of the fire.

The Ministry noted that no other building situated in the compound was damaged and as such school will reopen as per schedule in the new term.

“The Ministry of Education (MoE) is currently engaging the school’s administration and other Regional Officials to ensure plans are in place to cater for the smooth operations of the school when it reopens”, the statement added.

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