Some said 'Satanic forces' were
out in full force when fire
erupted in a house at Melanie Damishana, East Coast Demerara
yesterday afternoon and bad luck bedevilled firefighters
racing to help.
The house on
at Melanie Damishana yesterday.
As the flames raged in the
two-flat building, a fire tender
responding to the fire call
collided with another vehicle, a water pump blew out as
firemen hustled to douse the flames, and a backup tender
dispatched to the scene overturned on the road.
firemen killed in Montrose smash-up
fire destroyed the two-flat
building at 374 Area "A" Melanie Damishana,
leaving five persons homeless and millions of dollars in
one was injured in the fire and
investigators are looking into reports that the cause of the
blaze was not electrical.
tender racing to the scene.
said the fire started around
15:30h--16:00h in the front, bottom section of the building
that housed Odetta Martin, 31, a Sociology student at the
University of Guyana; her
sister, Roxanne Greene, 28; Greene's 14-year old daughter
Natasha and two boys aged 4 and 5. They saved absolutely
Service was summoned but in their attempt to respond,
nothing seemed to go well.
first tender racing to the scene collided with another
vehicle on the East Coast Demerara Highway.
said that when the tender eventually arrived, its water
supply was used up within one minute, causing the fire
fighters to set up a connection to pump water from a nearby
as they were about starting up the pump, it blew out,
thwarting that effort.
to proceed, the fire fighters
radioed base, reported the problem and requested that a
backup engine be dispatched to
was more misfortune in store for the fire
17:15h, as the backup fire
was negotiating the Coldingen/Melanie Damishana turn, it
skidded and ended up in the middle of the road upturned.
then, the fire was raging, and
emotions were high among the crowd, upset at a remark by a
fireman that the place seemed cursed.
villagers claimed that after the firemen's attempt to secure
water from the trench failed, one fireman shouted to his
colleagues: "This place is a cross man; loose off the
hose and leh we go."
the crowd berating the fire
fighters as the house continued to burn, within half an hour
they found a solution to the problem and managed to get
water through the hoses from a nearby trench. But by then
the building was destroyed.
also helped to get the overturned tender back on its wheels.
elderly neighbour, Mr. McRae, who lives on the northern side
of the house destroyed, said he was home when he heard a
loud screaming. He said he immediately assumed that the
neighbour had received a death message, but when he looked
out, the house was on fire.
said he called the Fire Service
and the unit at the Enmore sugar estate. Then he called Guyana
Power and Light who responded by disconnecting power to the
said the owner of the house, Suzie Duncan, lives in Antigua.
They said she spent much time and money developing and
modifying the building, and only left Guyana
about two weeks ago, after making her home what she wanted
it to be.
said Duncan had left the house in Odetta Martin's care, and
the two sisters and their children occupied the front
the time of the fire, Martin was
at UG, but her relatives said they dared not go there to
tell her about the disaster.
They said they anticipated that her reaction would not have
February 21, 2007