A FIRE, on Thursday morning, completely destroyed a house which served as a living quarters and mechanic shop, in the Squatting Area of Go Slow Drive, Tucville, Georgetown. The tragic occurrence has left the property’s owner, who managed to escape with his two-year-old son, devastated, traumatised and counting his losses.
When the Guyana Chronicle arrived on the scene, the mechanic, 36-year-old Deon Richards, called “Cuckle” was seen sitting on the grass in a disoriented state, unable to communicate effectively due to his immense distress. His wife and two-year-old son, who reside with him, were nowhere to be seen.
Guyana Fire Service Division Officer-in-Charge of Operations, Haimchandra Persaud, related that reports of the fire were received around 08:57 hrs on Thursday, prompting firefighters to rush into action.
“We received a call at the Central Control Room, about the fire… and two appliances from the Central Fire Station: West Ruimveldt, along with Campbellville, would have responded. Upon arrival, the first arriving officer would have noticed that the building was engulfed in flames, and he would have notified us, and they went into action,” he explained.
As neighbours had managed to contain the blaze until the emergency services arrived, quick work by the team of firefighters in sourcing water from the nearby canal subsequently extinguished the fire.
“[The victim] indicated that he was awakened by the smell of smoke and upon checking, he noticed fire in his room, or the living room. He exited with his two-year-old son, and he had thought initially that his wife was inside or perished, but she was subsequently found on the road,” Persaud continued.
A team of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) was on standby, to check Richards’ medical state, but subsequently departed after noting stable vitals, leaving the devastated man seated on the grass.
Carlton Prince, a neighbour of the mechanic, told the Guyana Chronicle that he and a friend, Bert, were sitting on chairs in front of their residence, when Richards burst forth from his house, seemingly in a panicked state.
“He approached this gate here, with his son in his hands, claiming that, ‘hold me son! Hold me son! I get a fire in my house!’ But it’s like he ain’t get an idea where the fire start from in de house. Like he just get de heat, and run out with he son,” Prince detailed.
He said that after collecting the child from his father, and taking him into his (Prince’s) house, he then went back to the house with Richards to see how he could assist.
“The first thing we do, we try to get the vehicle out the yard. We get it out the yard. We was trying to get this other one out the yard, but when we do approach the house, the fire was more than we. So we had to leff everything, because same time people start stepping in, and giving we assistance, where the fire is concerned for this building,” he continued, while gesturing to the roof of his own house.
He added that residents of the surrounding homes used buckets to dip water from a trench opposite the house to keep the fire at bay until the arrival of the Guyana Fire Service on the scene.
While neighbours speculated that a gas tank may have exploded and caused the fire, investigations into the cause of the blaze are still ongoing.