4-Y-O dies in Sophia fire; GFS says children were playing with matches

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Junior Anderson

See full statement from the Guyana Fire Service:

At 15:59 hrs today, the Fire Service received a call regarding a fire at Lot 88, C Field, Sophia, Greater Georgetown.

Firefighters arrived on the scene at 16:06 hrs and deployed the first jet at 16:07 hrs. The responding units included Water Tenders #105, #118 and Water Carrier #18 from the Campbellville Fire Station and Fire Service Headquarters along with a total of eleven personnel on site.

The one-flat wooden and concrete building was owned by 42-year-old Nigel Anderson which he occupied with his family, Shonnette Anderson, 37, Michael Anderson, 11, Waveny Anderson, 15, Cynthia Anderson, 6 and Junior Anderson, 4, who tragically did not survive the incident.

The fire resulted in the complete destruction of the building and its contents leaving four persons homeless.

Preliminary investigations suggest that the fire was caused by children playing with matches. The naked flames ignited a mattress, which then set nearby combustible materials on fire, leading to the spread of the flames throughout the building.

Firefighters swiftly extinguished the blaze using two jets from Water Carrier #18 and one jet from Water Tender #105.

Based on information gathered at the scene, three children were left in the care of a 16-year-old. According to the teen, she left the children playing and went to lie down, subsequently falling asleep. The teen reported that she was awakened by one of the children, who told her that the house was on fire. In a panic, she ran out of the house. The Fire Service was contacted, and upon checking, it was discovered that one of the children was unaccounted for. Charred remains were later uncovered by firefighters after the fire was extinguished.

The Guyana Fire Service extends sincere condolences to the parents and other relatives of the young child who lost his life.

In the wake of this tragedy, parents and guardians are reminded to educate children on the dangers of fire starters (matches and lighters) and warn them about their use.DO NOT leave children unattended or at home without adult supervision.

Keep children away from the cooking area, and ensure matches and lighters are out of their reach at all times.

Remember to equip homes with fire prevention and firefighting devices like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.