Sep 02, 2012 News
By Abena Rockcliffe
Residents from the Werk-en-Rust area yesterday morning converged hurriedly at what remained of a Breda Street cottage to get a glimpse of the grisly sight of the charred remains of 55-year-old Anthony Brumell known to most as “Pepee.”
Brumell perished in his home during a blaze that started around 10:55hrs. Luckily, his reputed wife, Kamarool Azeeze, escaped with a few minor burns.
The cottage was divided into two rooms. One was occupied by Brumell and Azeeze while the other was occupied by a blind man known only as “Buddy.”
He was not at home at the time of the fire.
Even though Lot 79 facilitated three houses, the Guyana Fire Service was able to expertly control the inferno, saving two of the buildings. However, the cottage immediately south of the one destroyed was extensively damaged, but all was not lost.
The neighbouring house on the northern side was mildly scorched, while smoke at one point was seen emerging from the front house.
Azeeze recalled that she was at a stand pipe washing utensils when the smell of smoke triggered her realization that her house was afire. She revealed that her husband was cooking. The woman, who is unemployed and occasionally solicits help from the public, said that she heard no sound that would have indicated something was amiss.
“I ain’t hear no poof, I ain’t even hear he call out to me, I don’t really hear good.”
Azeeze said that all her belongings were burnt in the fire.
Neighbours are speculating that Brumell probably either fell on a kerosene stove that “he always fixing” or “it sut up and catch afire”.
The position of Brumell’s body indicated that he could possibly have made his way out of the house as his remains were discovered in close proximity to the door.
Neighbours who described the man as “very willing” are of the belief that he was most likely weak at the time, as his constant use of “high wine” usually had him staggering.
“He is a nice man, anything you ask he fuh do he would do it for you, but oh gosh, he would drink de rum, chew de label and swallow de cork,” a neighbour reflected.
Syrn Rahamat who holds the power of attorney for the burnt house, said that Azeeze didn’t raise an alarm as everyone was alerted of the fire only after her son-in-law looked through the kitchen window and saw the smoke.
“We didn’t know Pepee went in deh or else somebody woulda try and pull he out” said the woman in sympathy.
Rahamat said that Brumell had been residing in the area for about 10 years. However, about three years ago he began residing in the now burnt cottage.
She further revealed that sometime back the man almost caught afire another house in the same yard.
“He always with that old kero stove say… how he trying to fix it… and he nearly burn down this other house (pointing to an adjacent property) de same way.”
This newspaper understands that most of Brumell’s relatives reside overseas. Reports are that he and Azeeze lately started a common law relationship.
Azeeze, whose hair was burnt, and who bore several other minor burns, suffered hostile reactions from residents of the community who are convinced that if she had raised an alarm earlier, “Pepee coulda get save, even if he hand or foot de break when we trying to pull he out.”
The woman said that she panicked and “just run.” She lamented that her husband died two years ago “now Pepee gone and left meh too.”
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