3 houses destroyed by fire; GFS blames illegal electrical connection

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
The destroyed houses in East Ruimveldt Squatting Area

A late-morning fire destroyed three wooden houses today in the East Ruimveldt Squatting Area, Georgetown.

The blaze started sometime before 11:00h.

The fire engulfed a one-flat wooden building owned and occupied by Brandon Britton, 39. Unfortunately, the building and its contents were completely destroyed, rendering Britton homeless.

According to the Guyana Fire Service, “The purported cause of the fire was identified as a slack connection of illegal wiring, which resulted in arcing and sparking, subsequently igniting nearby combustible materials.”

In addition, the fire also destroyed a neighbouring one-flat wooden building that was shared by two families. One of the owners, Ruby Francis, who along with her four other family members including a baby are now homeless, recalled her harrowing experience.

French related that she was asleep when the smell of smoke woke her. Upon looking outside, she saw smoke emanating from her neighbour’s – Britton’s – house.

“I pick up my baby and tell my 12-year-old to get up and run outside; is fire! By the time we reach out and look back, the whole place on fire,” Ruby said.

Meanwhile, nearby residents suspect that it was Britton, whom they claim is of “unsound mind”, who started the fire.

One man told this publication that on multiple occasions, he has had to rush over to Britton’s house to extinguish small fires that the 39-year-old started in his home.

At the scene this morning, police had taken Britton into custody.

Nevertheless, the Guyana Fire Service continues to warn citizens to desist from using illegal connections for electricity.

“These connections present a serious risk to both life and property since they could cause fires or electrocutions,” the GFS stated.