Eleven persons are now homeless after an early morning fire yesterday ravaged their two-storey home at Goed Intent, West Bank Demerara.
Neighbours were forced to form a bucket brigade on Murphy Dam, managing to put the blaze out before fire tenders arrived from the city, Kaieteur News was told.
Homeless are 38-year-old fisherman, Inshad ‘Harry’ Alli, his wife Ramrattie ‘Shantie’ Nagessar, and their nine children, whose ages range from two to 18.
While the cause of the blaze is yet to be determined, neighbours believe that it was electrical in origin. The family has tallied its losses in the millions and is now asking for help.
According to Nagessar, she got up shortly after seven and was washing up, preparing to send her children to school. She was outside when neighbours shouted to her that the upstairs was on fire.
The woman, who has been living there for 19 years, said she raced into the house. By then, most of the children were out of the home, but one of them was still sleeping upstairs.
“He was not waking up and I had to drag him off the bed.”
She managed to get the child downstairs but fainted at the doorway. It was neighbours who rushed her out to safety at her relatives next door. She fainted twice while talking to reporters.
Her husband had left about two hours earlier to start his day’s work on the nearby sea dam where the fishing boats were tied. It was one of the neighbours who breathlessly told him that his home was on fire.
“I tell them I coming, and for them to see what they could do. The neighbours really helped and could not do more than they did,” a shocked Harry said.
One of the neighbours rode to Wales Sugar Estate not far away where there were fire tenders but was told that they were down.
Two were reportedly dispatched from Georgetown but were caught in the morning rush hour of the Demerara Harbour Bridge.
Neighbours and other villagers said that they used water from the nearby trenches.
“They had a Koran…it nah burnt. It was in all the fire. It only got a little wet from water,” a relative said.
The villagers managed to save a few chairs and clothes and were forced to cut power to the home. The lower flat suffered severe water damage.
“They lost everything. We will do what we have to help. But they got nine children and most of them going to school. They will need some help to recover,” a relative said.
It was only two weeks now that Shantie started to operate a little stand in front of the home.
One of her children, 5-year-old Muhammed, is a heart patient who benefitted from an operation overseas just over a year ago. He is scheduled for another later this year.
According to Vijay, a neighbour and relative, the West Bank area badly needs fire tenders.
“We have a large area with housing schemes. They should place one of them here even if it has to stay at the Wales Police Station.”
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