Arson suspected as fire rips through GPHC’s heart test lab


An early morning fire on Saturday ripped through the echocardiography laboratory, which is used for specialised heart test, at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

This is according to the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer (ag.) Robbie Rambarran, who also related that preliminary investigation suggests that the fire may have been an act of arson.

Rambarran told the News Room that smoke was first detected in the cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which manages patients who need critical care. It was later discovered that the smoke was emanating from the laboratory.

Smoke seen emanating from the laboratory

As such, the Guyana Fire Service was contacted.

A representative of the Fire Service told the News Room that the fire was reported at around 05:24 hrs on Saturday. Soon after, firefighters arrived at the scene and managed to contain the blaze, saving people from being hurt.

A fire ripped through the echocardiography laboratory at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)

Though the blaze was contained, Rambarran said it seems as though the incident was an act of arson because the laboratory was drenched in an oil-like substance.

“This is very disturbing.

“Who would want to hurt a hospital where there are sick people who can’t move or run?” the hospital head lamented.

The News Room understands that investigations are still ongoing to ascertain the cause of the fire.

The oil-like substance seen on a desk in the laboratory

In the meantime, Rambarran said that with the laboratory destroyed, the hospital’s operations, particularly its heart services, will be constrained. The hospital does have another echocardiography machine but with the high demand for heart tests, Rambarran said it is likely that there will now be a backlog.

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