Good Hope blaze leaves five homeless
Disaster struck at lot 79 Kissoon Housing Scheme, Good Hope, east Coast Demerara last night when fire destroyed a two storey concrete house leaving a couple and their three children homeless.
And once again the length of time the Fire Department took to reach the scene was a cause for concern.
From all reports the fire was electrical in origin as the home owner Omadai Galdino recalled seeing sparks coming from the main wire that brought current to the house.
Despite the efforts of neighbours who tried to render assistance in the initial stages of the blaze, the fire quickly consumed the house and apart from a few household items, nothing could have been saved.
Galdino told this newspaper that her husband was not at home and she and her children, ages ten, eight and three years old were lying in their beds at about 21:00 hours when the main wire to the house started sparking.
She said that the wire eventually burst and within minutes the entire upper flat of the house was engulfed in flames.
Galdino said that she immediately grabbed her children and ran out of the house.
“We were not sleeping, we just lie down on the bed. I hear pax! pax! And when I run out I couldn’t do nothing. I run fuh de children and I try fuh save de children dem,” she cried.
According to Galdino, a bucket brigade was formed but the little water from the drain in front of the house ran out rendering that exercise useless.
The woman said that a fire tender from the city and the GuySuCo East Demerara Estates arrived about 30 minutes after the fire started.
“If they de come quicker they probably could’a save de house but he nah reach in time,” Galdino told this newspaper.
To compound the issue, she said that calls to the Fire Service emergency telephone number went unanswered.
“It keep ringing out, ringing out,” the woman lamented.
It was a neighbour who eventually made contact with the Fire Department to inform them about the fire.
“The Fire Service could’s save me house if they had a fire station up hey. Everything gone. Life done,” cried Galdino, who has been living in the area for nine years.
Unfortunately the property was not insured.
Other residents were quick to point out that the electricity supply in the area leaves a lot to be desired with fluctuating current and sparking wire proving to be a source of much concern.
One resident said that his lights have been going on and off for several weeks and despite repeated calls to the authorities, nothing has been done so far.
“I cal the Fire Service and reported it so that they will call GPL and up to today, nobody has responded. Nobody on to now, although we still getting the problem. But leh you owe GPL, they come and cut you light off,” the resident said.
Although everyone in the community is convinced that the fire was electrical in origin, investigators will try to confirm the cause.
Another source of concern is the absence of fire hydrants in the area and residents are hoping that this will be addressed soon.
“We just have a hole that they open to carry the water pressure up or down. We don’t have a hydrant. The whole of good hope from Phase one to two, no fire hydrant,” another resident told this newspaper.
Saturday, March 7, 2009