A RICE storage bond at De Hoop, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, was completely destroyed by fire early yesterday morning, resulting in millions of dollars in losses.
Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle told this publication that the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) responded to a fire call at about 02:25hrs yesterday by the police and the Mahaica Unit responded but by then the entire zinc bond, which stored cargo rice, paddy, pesticides and equipment, was engulfed.
He added that the zinc shed bond collapsed after it was gutted by the blaze and firefighters concentrated on saving the two other buildings in the compound. They were backed up by the Onverwagt Fire Station and GuySuCo unit.
Gentle said that they ably contained the inferno to that zinc shed bond despite mechanical problems encountered with their water pumps after it took in silt and rice/paddy dust from the nearby canal where they had sourced water.
The Chief Fire Officer stated that the zinc shed bond is the property of Khemraj Sukhlall and noted that poor storage contributed to the fire since the area was overloaded.
He said the cause of the fire is being probed.
However, the GFS saved two dwelling houses in separate incidents early yesterday morning.
At 02:35hrs firemen were summoned to Lot 114 Garnette Street, Kitty, when an ignited incense which was left unattended caught alight on a chair.
It destroyed several pieces of furniture, including the chair, but the fire was contained by firefighters.
In another incident, at Plaisance, East Coast Demerara, a mattress caught fire somehow and the GFS responded and contained the conflagration in that house at about 04:30hrs.
Meanwhile, Gentle has advised that persons exercise caution during this festive season when there will be extensive cooking, baking and use of electricity to illuminate fairy lights, etc.
He also urged that persons avoid overloading their household electrical system, and encouraged businesses to invest in a fire and smoke alarm system.