Investigators conclude… Arsonist caused D’Urban St. blaze
A Guyana Fire Service investigation has revealed that someone deliberately set the fire which destroyed a two-storey house at Lot 18 D’Urban Street, Wortmanville, last month.
Kaieteur News understands that the investigation concluded a few days ago and that the findings are still to be handed over to the police. An official who spoke to Kaieteur News declined to say whether the investigators had identified the alleged arsonist.
The fire, which occurred in early July, gutted the property which had housed a beer garden and fish shop in the bottom flat. Eyewitness accounts suggest that the blaze started in the top flat, which was occupied by Mr. Jerry Chow, his wife, and two children.
Mr. Chow had told Kaieteur News that no one was at home when the fire started and that he was about three corners away at the time. The man said that he lost everything.
Police had detained Chow on the very night of the fire, but he was later released.
Asked how the fire might have started, Chow said that neighbours informed him that they had seen fire emanating from an electrical wire leading to his home.
But according to Mr. Chow, he had used a generator to supply his home with electricity.
He stated that he was living at the property for the past 12 to 13 years and paid the rates and taxes.
Meanwhile, an official said that investigations were inconclusive about the origin of another fire last month that destroyed a two-storey building at Lot 342 Cummings Street.
The fire had started in the top flat shortly after the caretaker had left the premises. It consumed the wooden building within minutes.
Eyewitnesses said that the blaze started in the top flat.
The gutted property belonged to Elsa Phillips, an overseas-based Guyanese, and was unoccupied when the blaze started.
The caretaker, Ingrid Grant, had told reporters that she had just cleaned the premises and had gone to a nearby internet cafe to make a call when she saw several people running. She then went outside and saw that the building was on fire.
She said that the premises had contained flat-screen television sets, furniture, two refrigerators, and several barrels containing other valuables. Nothing was saved.
According to the caretaker, a generator was on the premises but it was off at the time of the fire.