A stroke-afflicted woman died at her Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara home during a fire yesterday that destroyed the building leaving several other persons homeless.
Despite the desperate efforts of her son-in-law to rescue her, Yowani Sasnarine, 57, was found dead in her Lot 564 Block 8, Mon Repos home after the fire. The woman shared the two-bedroom house with her two daughters, Karen Chung and Carolien Sasnarine, a son-in-law Joseph Pereira, and three grandchildren.
Stabroek News was told that the deceased woman shared the top flat of the two-storey wooden and concrete house with Carolien, while the bottom flat is shared by Karen and her family. The fire reportedly occurred at around 2:10 am and the family have since said that the origin of the fire remains unknown.
Carolien, 25, who resided with and took care of Yowani, yesterday related that she was not at home at the time of the fire. She revealed that her mother had been immobile and dependent on relatives for assistance to move around after she suffered a stroke four years ago.
The woman recalled that she was returning home when she observed the glow of the flames in the neighbourhood. Upon her arrival, she discovered that their home had been ravaged by the fire.
“I was in Vryheid’s Lust most of the day at my brother. He had a birthday party and I was helping him. When I was coming this morning, I saw the big light on my way home…I turned and ask my cousin ‘is where the light coming from?’ When we reach through the street, I see it was our house on fire,” she said, still in disbelief yesterday.
The young woman related that, “before the car could have stopped, I jumped and I saw my brother-in-law and sister on the road…I asked ‘where mommy’ after I didn’t see her anywhere and I run to go towards the house but the people on the street had to hold me back…”
Carolien said that her sister told her that they were unable to save their mother.
“When I ask my sister what happened, she told me they checked on mommy and they put her in (the) bedroom…normally she does wait on me to sleep so they left on the TV and returned downstairs,” she said. She added that hours later, they heard objects falling on the floor on the upper flat of the building.
Carolien related that her sister and her husband did not suspect anything was amiss since they believed she had returned home and had a mishap.
“After they called up for me and got no response, my brother-in-law decided to check and that’s when they saw the house was on fire,” she said, relating that Pereira’s attempt to save their mother had to be aborted due to the immense heat.
“…when they check, the upstairs was already on fire and my brother-in-law couldn’t have done anything to go into the house and save her. The heat was too much,” a distraught Carolien lamented.
Nearby residents fled their homes in case the threatening blaze spread to other houses, and were relieved when the fire service arrived to put it out. However, Stabroek News was told that the house was already destroyed when they arrived on the scene.
Two fire tenders from the Campbellville and Alberttown fire stations responded and immediately went into action and managed to extinguish the flames. It was after they put out the fire that Yowani’s charred body was discovered on the southern side of the house.
The family said that they have lost everything in the fire and will be grateful for any assistance to rebuild their home.
Persons desirous of assisting the family can contact them on 234-1217.