A mentally ill man with a penchant for starting fires may have caused last Thursday’s inferno that razed the Transport and Harbours Department (TH&D) Storage Bond.
Police sources disclosed yesterday that they are trying to locate a well-built vagrant who has reportedly been setting fires in the city.
“We have information that a “big strong man” may have set the fire but we have no evidence,” an official said.
Investigators have received reports that the vagrant was in the Water Street area some hours before the fire started. It was suggested that the man may have started the fire in Urquhart Street, since the two security guards from the Transport and Harbours Department storage bond were reportedly in Water Street at the time.
There are reports that the vagrant had set a small fire in Water Street a few days prior to Thursday’s blaze. A source said that the same man had allegedly been setting heaps of refuse alight.
The present dry spell and the presence of large heaps of garbage have made the city vulnerable to fires of this nature.
Thursday’s fire destroyed the Transport and Harbours Department (TH&D) Storage Bond and the old Beharry building which housed a mechanic shop, while Ming’s boat-building facility was badly scorched.
Millions of dollars in spares for various vessels were destroyed in the T&HD facility.
Fire Chief Marlon Gentle said the Guyana Fire service received a call at 01:10hrs and it was reported that the blaze originated in the T&HD Bond.
He said firefighters had a challenging time because of the presence of many inflammable items that were stored in the buildings. A sudden squall also fanned the flames and the firefighter’s best efforts essentially became an exercise in futility.
Residents said that they heard several loud explosions after the fire erupted in the T&HD Bond. Some persons related that they fled their homes after they noticed that the blaze was spreading rapidly.
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