Deadly Alberttown fire: House was heavily grilled and one door was used for entry/exit

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The Guyana Fire Service on Saturday said the Alberttown, Georgetown apartment that went up in flames, killing two women, was heavily grilled and had no dedicated exit or fire safety mechanism.

The fire, which occurred on Thursday last, at Lot 136, Fifth Street Alberttown, Georgetown resulted in the deaths of 25-year-old Marialina Txidor Alonso and 44- year-old Maria Alejandra Patrino Benjamin.

Dead: 44-year-old Maria Benjamin (left) and 25-year-old Marialina Texidor Alonso

“There were no alternative methods of escape in the occurrence of a fire or any other emergency, as it was observed that there was only one way in and one way out of the four individual apartments,” the Fire Service said in a statement.

The building had no smoke alarms nor fire extinguishers, the Fire Service added.

On arrival, the Fire Service said its workers observed that the first floor of the building was engulfed in flames and the windows and the single door to the apartments were heavily fortified, “that is to say they were fully grilled, which hampered firefighters from gaining access to the apartment in a timely manner.”

Inside the top floor of the apartment that was ravaged by the fire (Photo courtesy of the Guyana Fire Service)

The Fire Service said the water tenders that responded to the scene were fully equipped with the necessary tools and accessories to address the issue of entry into the building and these were effectively used to break the iron grill and wooden door to gain entrance.

“It is standard practice that all dispatched firefighting vehicles be equipped with its full capacity of water to begin extinguishing activities.

“On arrival at the scene senior officers are trained to determine the location of water outlets from water hydrants and nearby sources of water,” the Fire Service stated.

On this occasion, the Fire Service said there was never a shortage of water for firefighting as open sources of water were used to extinguish the blaze.

The Fire Service said its firefighters will be exposed to more advanced training both at the regional and international level so as to better serve citizens.

“These and other initiatives like the decentralization of the Central Fire Station are all part of the modernization and development of the Guyana Fire Service,” the Fire Service stated.

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