UPDATE: Pensioners’ house goes up in flames


By Devina Samaroo

A man, who lost his son two years ago after he was shot dead, is now suffering another loss when his home was destroyed by fire.

Tragedy struck after midday on Friday, January 5, 2018, the elderly couple who lived with their 12-year old adopted daughter and 8-year old grandson, when a fire erupted at their two-storey concrete house at Morocut Street, East La Penitence, Georgetown.

Firefighters battled relentlessly to douse the blaze before it spread to nearby houses. Sixty-nine-year-old Kenneth Herbert, a security guard, was asleep when the fire started.

Kenneth Herbert

“I cannot give you the full details (because) I was sleeping and my little girl come and call me. She actually telling me like my grandson, like he fall through the window s I trying now to get through to go downstairs then she say ‘no, is fire.’ When I peep into the fourth bedroom, there I see the nig blaze of fire on the bed,” the distraught pensioner told News Room.

He noted that without hesitation, he tried to extinguish the blaze with a bucket of water but after realising his attempts were futile, he went to look for the children and quickly exited the building after he realised they were outside.

The tragedy struck at a time when Herbert was hoping to fix the bottom flat to rent in an effort to earn an extra income.

“We separated it into two parts- one would have been a bachelor apartment and one a family apartment, one has two bedrooms, one has one bedrooms…my emotions are high because I can’t imagine something like this would happen,” the security guard said as he broke down in tears.

Herbert said the trauma of this incident comes after he lost in son in the most brutal manner.

“Two years now, my son died. He got shot in the street. My emotion is high,” the man said.

Scores of persons gathered at the scene as the firefighters battled the blaze.

Neighbours were surprised at how quickly the fire destroyed the house.

“Within minutes, the whole house got engulfed…the house burn very fast…it’s very sad,” one woman said.

While they have lost their home, the Herbert family is grateful to be alive.

The Guyana Fire Service has launched an investigation into this incident – which is the first fire in the capital city for the year.

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