Fire ravages GFC living quarters at Soesdyke

first_imgLiving quarters belonging to the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) at Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara were on Monday completely destroyed by a fire which also inflicted damages to nearby structures.Firemen battling the fire which gutted the entire buildingAccording to residents, this fire started at about 11:00h in the lower front of the two-storey building which lies adjacent to two similar structures. This newspaper was told that residents saw black smoke billowing into the sky, and this was followed by a loud explosion.Orwin Fernandes, who at the time was nearby when the fire started, explained that when he arrived at the scene, alert neighbours had already summoned the Guyana Fire Service.“I know this place for a very long time. I come out ‘cause I live not too far from here and I see the thick smoke blowing the other way, so that draw my attention; but when I come, it’s just the front did start,” he recalled.“I see the big blaze and the commotion; ‘cause everybody run out to see what going on after they hear the big blast,” said another.Fernandes noted that the firefighters arrived promptly. However, while water was in abundance from a neighbouring trench, there was not sufficient leverage for the water to reach the building, which led to the blaze becoming uncontrollable.“At least like five minutes after I come the firefighters arrive, and the fire truck; so I said that was good, but what amaze me is that the water couldn’t meet from here to the building,” Fernandes said.The aftermath of the fire“It take them some time, and when I look, the part of the hose was already attached to the trench, so I said water is no problem; but it just wouldn’t meet the building! It just about ten feet the water reach from the gun, and it falling,” he added.The fire fighters were able to save the adjacent building from going up in flames. It ended up being scorched, and sustaining minor damages to the windows, walls and adjoining stairway. The tarpaulin of a house on the left side of the property was also damaged.At the scene, this publication was able to speak with the Deputy Commissioner of Forests from the Forest Monitoring Division (FMD), Gavin Asgard, who indicated that the building had been occupied by four employees. He noted that no information could be provided at that time, since the GFC management was awaiting the findings of the Guyana Fire Service after a complete investigation would have been done before any information could be divulged.However, no one was reportedly injured following the incident.“I was just called, and (I) came to this; and we’re waiting on a report from the Fire Service. As soon as I get that, I can give some information and more details,” Asgard related.In the investigation ongoing at the time, officers from the Fire Service were examining the rubble to assist them to determine what had transpired. (Rupadai Seenaraine)last_img read more