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By Mark DaCosta- Guyana has lost the iconic St. Patrick’s Anglican Church to a fire that may have been caused by human activity. The 180 years old structure located at Rose Hall, East Canje, Berbice was completely destroyed on Thursday morning.
Fire was reported at the building to the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) at 04:34 hours. Upon responding, the GFS determined that the historic Church could not be saved.
Divisional Fire Officer Clive McDonald said there was not much firefighters could have done to save the building. “Two tenders were dispatched and upon arrival, the crew made an assignment that the building was completely engulfed in flames. Immediately [firefighters] went into action to suppress and stop the spread of fire,” he said.
“I believe that that fire based upon my experience and my knowledge in firefighting, that fire was in that building a pretty long time because we know what does be in a church; the fire load is not much but the structure is an old structure –a historical one, so, once a fire started in there, it will spread rapidly. It is sad to know that we have lost a historical building in Region Six,” the Fire Officer said.
According to the fire officer, fire investigators were able to find the origin of the fire which shows that it was deliberately set. The official noted that there was no electrical connection to the building.
Reverend Father Ezra Minty, who is the parish priest of St. Patrick’s, said services had not been held at the building for just over one year. The Reverend disclosed that there had been several break-ins.
Referring to the way forward, the Reverend said, “In terms of how we will do that I cannot say at the moment, because I know funds are limited. However, due to the historical nature of the building, I am hoping that as the priest, we can gather some funds from probably fundraisers or donors just to replace the building so that Anglicans within that area can have a place of worship.”