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—family says property was in dispute, urges thorough probe
By Farah Bates
Sixty-Seven-year-old Martin Lindie of Trinity Street New Amsterdam died in his home on Sunday night when fire erupted in the building.
According to relatives the man lived alone and may have encountered difficulties opening the door in his bid to escape the fire.
Neighbours related that the fire began at around 22:55hrs on Sunday and efforts were made to contact the Guyana Fire Service who arrived at the scene shortly after and were able to control the burning building. However, things took a turn at the scene, when the firemen entered the house and found the lifeless body of Lindie laying on the floor with burns about his body.
A relative, Nicola Luther, who spoke with the media on Monday related that she received a phone call Sunday night about a fire in Trinity Street. She noted that when she got there, she observed that it was her cousin’s house.
The woman said she told firefighters that there was someone in the house, only to be told that they can’t enter the house until the police arrived.
“Imagine I was telling them fire people that somebody was in the house and they were saying that they gatto wait until the police come. So, I asked them why wait until the police come before you try and save somebody’s life. I tell them bruk down the door and go in and then some people on the road start shouting to break the house and go in and that is how they started breaking and when they go in, they find him by the door”
Lindie’s body was removed and taken to the New Amsterdam Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Luther noted that a proper investigation has to be done to ascertain the cause of the fire which caused the death of Lindie, given that the man was recently involved in a family dispute over the said property.
“We are not pointing fingers because we were not there but I know that the house is in dispute…How the fire started, I don’t know. But what I know for sure is that he was trying to come out of the house because he indicated to the neighbour that is close by, saying that there is a fire and she should pick up the kids and run. The house got a lot of grills and stuff and he always get problem to find his keys or open the locks. Sometimes he don’t even know where he does put the keys”
Luther noted that when the firefighters managed to get into the house, Lindie was found in front of the door which also made her believe that he was trying to escape from the burning building. According to the woman, she believed that at the time of the fire, Lindie had already retired to bed as he was found lying shirtless.
“He was probably in bed when the fire started because they found him without a shirt and he was not burnt badly. It’s like he jumped up from bed and shout for the neighbour to move from next door with the kids and then he just couldn’t manage to open his own door and run out”
The woman noted that Lindie was recently hospitalised after he allegedly consumed a poisonous substance. She noted that this matter had since engaged the welfare officers along with the police.
Luther said she wants the police to conduct a thorough probe into the matter as the family awaits a detailed report as to what may have transpired on Sunday night.
“Until they do an investigation, I don’t want to hear anything. From the welfare to the probation officer, the fire people and the CID, all of them gatto do their work and then do a comprehensive report and tell the family what going on.”