This year, Guyana has witnessed a significant number of devastating fires when compared to 2018.
And even as the country embarks on the Christmas season, another family of four is now homeless after their house was completely destroyed yesterday.
The fire started at around 11:00 hrs at the Cummings Lodge Housing Scheme, East Coast Demerara (ECD).
A call was made and the Campbellville Fire Unit along with another responded quickly. Three buildings were threatened but fire fighters effectively managed to contain the fire to one. However, nearby houses received slight water damage and
scorches to the walls.
Fire Chief, Marlon Gentle, said that the fire is suspected to be caused by a lighted paraphernalia and diya that were left on the altar of the house. The blaze was discovered by an occupant of the house and an alarm was raised.
Thanks to this occupant, the rest of the family were able to make good their escape with only the clothes on their backs.
For this year alone, there have been over 700 fires. This number includes the four properties that were destroyed in the past week alone.
After a thorough analysis was carried out by the Guyana Fire Service, it was found that residential fires are at the top of the list. Second on the list is “dry grass fires”.
These fires were caused by electrical problems, arson, negligence and the list goes on.
However, electricity seems to be the most popular cause for property fires followed by negligence of “unattended lighted objects”. Almost all of the grass fires were sparked by careless dumping of lighted
Guyana can testify to few significant fires within the last few months that claimed lives and left many homeless.
The early morning Bent Street fires, the Diwali blaze at Peter’s Hall, the gutting of the popular Guinness Bar and the Bond that was destroyed at Coldingen were just a few.
Two Chinese nationals were also killed in September when they were trapped inside one of the seven stores that was destroyed along the Commercial block at Vreed-en-Hoop.
Fire Chief Marlon Gentle stated that the number of motor vehicular fires have also doubled from last year. The fire service saw 69 fires of this nature caused by spark plugs and other faulty wires that cause combustion with engine oil or fuel.
“Since we’re already in the festive season, fires are prone to happen at this time of the year.”
He said that there are those caused by Christmas lights, illegal connections and carelessness while preparing a meal.
It is advised that persons make sure their string lights have no loose connections, cracked lamps or frayed cords.
Make sure lights are off when people leave their homes and before they go to bed at nights. Ensure all outdoor lights connectors are away from metal rain gutters and off the ground and to lessen the chance of fire hazard, do not use candles.
In October for Fire Prevention Week 2019, stakeholders were educated about the dynamics of fire and the functions of the fire service.
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