Feb 14, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Firemen were busy yesterday following a string of fires that destroyed five homes, leaving 35 persons homeless. Kaieteur News was able to confirm that three of the houses destroyed had no insurance.
The first, according to Fire Chief, Kalamadeen Edoo, began around 04:09 hrs. at Lot 20 19th Street, Dazzle Housing Scheme, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara (ECD). A relatively large two-storey concrete house, owned by Claudia and James Osbourne, had caught on fire.
Both of them, along with their 12-year old grandson, Jarel Toney (the son of popular sports journalist, Rawle Toney), and their four children, Jamaima, Joanna, Jaquan and Joel Osbourne, were at home when the blaze commenced.Kaieteur News learnt from a member of the Osborne family that the fire started in one of the bedrooms on the upper flat. Based on investigations carried out by the fire department, Edoo said, it was ignited by a mosquito coil.
The family member said that coil had further ignited combustible material in the room and started to spread rapidly. The Osbornes tried to extinguish the blaze by dragging the combustible material through the house, which was then thrown outside. However, while that was being done other materials also caught on fire in the house. The fire soon after got out of control. While the rest of the family members ran out of the house, it was revealed that Jaquan got trapped inside, trying to control the blaze.
In a desperate bid to save himself, he was forced to jump from the verandah located on the top floor, all the way to the bottom.
This resulted in him badly spraining one of his feet. Shortly after, a fire tender from the Melanie Fire station arrived and fire fighters began their work.
Despite the firemen’s efforts, the family member said that the house was destroyed and they were unable to save anything.
Jaquan was taken to Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) for treatment. Doctors there admitted him immediately. Up to press time, Kaieteur News was informed that he was still hospitalized.
Meanwhile, Rawle Toney told his newspaper that his son received some minor burns from the fire debris and was taken to the hospital as well. He was treated and sent away. Toney assured, however, that the burns are nothing serious and that he is currently applying ointment to speed up the healing process.
A few hours later, while fire fighters were wrapping up their work at Dazzle Housing Scheme, fire fighters from the Central Fire Station in Georgetown were rushing to another blaze which erupted at Lot 20B Shell Road, Kitty.
That fire, according to Fire Chief Edoo, started at 06:30 hrs. and razed two, two-storey wooden and concrete houses, leaving four persons homeless.
Edoo said that the two fire tenders which responded from the Central Fire Station had to be backed up by fire tenders from Alberttown and Campbellville, just to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.
Videos seen by this media house showed firefighters battling the raging flames, as the occupants burst into tears upon seeing their homes burnt completely to the ground. Among the four occupants, who are now coming to grips with their millions of dollars in losses, are Marlyn and Leon Monroe.
Edoo said that the cause of the Kitty blaze was an overloaded electrical circuit, which had sparked and ignited combustible materials within one of the houses.
After extinguishing the Kitty blaze, the Georgetown firefighters had very little time to rest and pack-up equipment. At around 11:45 hrs., yet another fire erupted at the Lot 75 Costello Housing Scheme, along Cemetery Road. Fire tenders from the Central Fire Station, backed-up by one from Alberttown, and one from West Ruimveldt, had to rush to the location.
Kaieteur News learnt that the fire began in an apartment building and then spread to another building close by, which housed a restaurant. The occupants from the apartment building, 24 in total including six children, managed to escape.
Edoo confirmed that those buildings were also completely destroyed and because of the severity of the blaze, two other buildings were partially scorched. This fire, Edoo said, was also electrical in nature. As was the Kitty fire, Edoo explained, which began with sparks from an overloaded electrical circuit.
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