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A lit candle, which was reportedly left unattended, is said to be the cause of the fire which ripped through a two-story apartment building at Cross Street, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown on Thursday evening. Some 12 persons have been left homeless as a result.
“The purported cause of the fire is said to be a lighted candle left unattended which fell and ignited nearby combustible materials,” the Guyana Fire Service said on Friday.
In a statement, it explained that the Fire Service received a call at 20:55hrs on Thursday, and was alerted to a fire at Lot 59 Cross Street, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown.
Water Tenders 102 from Central Fire Station, 107 from West Ruimveldt Fire Station and 112 from the Alberttown Fire Station were immediately dispatched to the location.
However, the wooden building, which was owned by 74-year-old Jone Bowman, would not have been saved. Bowman had occupied the top floor along with three others while the bottom floor, which consisted of two apartments, was occupied by a total of eight (8) persons.
Given the cause of the fire, the Fire Service is encouraging citizens to exercise caution when using lamps, candles, mosquito coils, lighters and matches.
“Ensure these items are placed a safe distance away from combustible materials and out of the reach of children at all times. Smoke detectors are vital in preventing fires by alerting persons of heavy smoke buildup within a building. Fire extinguishers can put out small fires and can be useful in the early stages of a fire to prevent it from getting out of control before the arrival of the Guyana Fire Service,” it explained.
It said too that citizens should equip their homes with these devices to protect themselves and others against fires.