Fire leaves almost 100 homeless
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tuesday April 26, 2011 – As thousands of other Guyanese were relaxing on the last day of a long Easter holiday weekend, at least 90 people were wondering where they would lay their head that night after a fire razed an apartment block in the capital that they called home, even though it had been declared a fire hazard several years ago.
Among those left homeless were about 50 children.
No one was hurt in the fire, but some of the residents openly wept as they watched all their possessions go up in flames since nothing could be saved from the building.
The origin of the fire, which started around 2 pm yesterday, has not yet been determined but it was said to have started in a room on the top floor.
Fire Chief Marlon Gentle said the two-storey wooden structure had been declared a fire hazard five years ago and was to be demolished along with 27 others in the city.
The Georgetown City Council was responsible for the demolition but it had not taken action despite several requests, reports indicate.
Some of the occupants told the local media they had been trying to find somewhere better to live before the fire but had been unsuccessful.
Nearby buildings, including one housing the local office of the Inter American Development Bank and the home of the owner of the razed structure, were saved from major damage.
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