A North East La Penitence family is thankful to be alive after a fire suspected to be electrical in origin gutted their apartment during the wee hours of New Year’s Day.
Reports are that the fire which started around 3.30 am on Tuesday is suspected to have begun in a bedroom of the Lot 298 North East La Penitence apartment situated in the lower flat of the house.
There was extensive damage to the interior of the apartment.
The two-storey concrete structure houses four apartments. The apartment that was destroyed is occupied by a couple and their six-year-old child.
A source explained to Stabroek News that preliminary investigation revealed that the fire was caused after an electrical fan reportedly overheated.
The family praised the quick actions of neighbours who rescued them and saved the structure from further destruction.
A male occupant who wished not to be named explained to Stabroek News that he and his family were asleep when they were awoken by sounds which made them believe that someone was breaking into their apartment.
“… when I open this door (as he pointed to the main access door) the smoke had already covered the entire house (apartment)…I try open the door, the door couldn’t open because it locked off. We fall down because of the smoke and stuff,” the man explained.
He said he and his family were trapped in the house for some time since the windows and doors are heavily grilled resulting in them experiencing difficulty while trying to exiting.
“We crawl back in the bedroom, put the sheets and stuff to block the smoke from coming in……Wife and daughter had to pushed their heads out the window to breathe until eventually got the door open,”, he further explained.
The man said after they were rescued, neighbours doused the house with water from a nearby tank.
By the time the Guyana Fire Service arrived, the fire had already been extinguished.