Cause of NA fire not yet determined
CHARLOTTE STREET, NEW AMSTERDAM – Firefighters are still probing the cause of Saturday’s early morning fire at Lot 7 Charlotte Street. That fire claimed the lives of four persons from a prominent New Amsterdam family.
Seventy-year-old Ivor Persaud, well-known businessman and owner of one of the oldest business entities in New Amsterdam – Persaud’s Funeral Home – along with his wife and two grandchildren, was burnt to death in his home after apparently being trapped in it.
Relatives believe that Mr. Ivor Persaud and his 60-year-old wife, Parbattie Persaud, called ‘Patsy,’ proprietress of the Astor Snackette, fought to save their lives and those of their grandchildren – eight-year-old Melissa Persaud and five-year-old Armand Persaud. The blaze was discovered just after 02:00 hours on Saturday.
Yesterday, a source from the Guyana Fire Service indicated that firefighters are still combing the debris, searching for clues. When asked about the possibility of arson being the case, the source said that it was too early to say, but members of the Guyana Fire Service are working in tandem with those of the Guyana Police Force to arrive at a conclusion.
Yesterday, mother of the two children, Sherry Persaud, in a trembling voice, said that they are in the process of making the necessary arrangements to bid farewell to the mortal remains of her only two children, her mother-in-law and father-in-law.
“We cannot separate them. They will all go together, but I cannot say when is the funeral as yet.”
When asked if she thinks that the fire was deliberately set, she stated that, at this point in her life, things seem so surreal. “I don’t know what to think anymore, because of the way everything happened. It seems so unreal. Look at how it happened.”
The home in which the couple lived was heavily grilled and re-wired some time last year. Eyewitnesses recalled the horror of hearing the victims screaming for help until they perished, but were unable to lend that helping hand.
At the time of the tragedy, the two children were spending the night at their grandparents.