Barnwell tragedy: House had illegal electricity connection

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The authorities have clarified that the house at Barnwell, aback Mocha, East Bank Demerara, in which three siblings perished in a fire had an illegal power supply.

This was confirmed by Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn and the Fire Chief (ag) Gregory Wickham.

On May 26, an early morning blaze claimed the lives of eight-year-old Timothy Kippins, six-year-old Triston Kippins, and one-year-old Zhalia Flue, who were all trapped in the one-storey wooden building.

There were conflicting reports after the Guyana Fire Service said the fire was electrical in nature but relatives claimed that the house had no electricity.

“That electricity was being taken from a power line, I guess unauthorised, and the identification from the fire service experts is that it was electrical in nature,” Minister Benn said on Wednesday at the side lines of an event.

This was later confirmed by the Fire Chief, however, he could not say what exactly started the fire in the house.

Barnwell is located aback Mocha and is an informal farming settlement with houses and shacks spaced far apart on deplorable mud roads.

“As far as I understand, the area is an unregulated area identified or being used for farming. It appears as though progressively people have started to buildsmall homes in the area,” Minister Benn said.

The deplorable state of the access road prevented firefighters from effectively responding to the blaze.

The children’s mother Tracy Flue, who is a security guard, was at work when the fire engulfed her house. The young siblings were laid to rest on Tuesday last.

 

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