Child playing with lighter caused fire at La Grange


A fire that destroyed a wooden and concrete house at La Grange, West Bank Demerara and left nine persons homeless, started after a child was allegedly playing with a lighter on Monday afternoon.

According to a press release from the Guyana Fire Service on Tuesday, the servicemen was alerted of the fire at about 13:35 hrs and immediately responded at Lot 171, Unity Street, La Grange.

Water tender #111 had a full tank supply (450 gallons) and a crew from the La Grange Fire Station arrived at the scene at about 13:45 hrs and observed a two-storey wooden and concrete house in its final stages of destruction.

The aftermath of the fire at the La Grange, West Bank Demerara house. (Photo: Guyana Fire Service/ January 1, 2024)

The building that belonged to 44-year-old Nigel Douglas, was located behind several houses and was only accessible via a narrow alleyway. The first floor of the building was occupied by Douglas, while the ground floor was occupied by Keon Gonsalves, 34, and seven other family members.

The Fire Service said a child, who was left unattended, had a lighter on a chair and after the object sparked, naked flames fell onto a chair, resulting in the fire.

As a result of the fire, the building and its contents were destroyed and the nine persons were rendered homeless. The Fire Service dismissed claims that it did not bring water to the scene as “highly inaccurate; we are more than equipped to handle all fires with water or other extinguishing agents.”

According to the Fire Service, light pump #118 working from an open water source was used to extinguish the fire but the distance from the fire truck to the scene of the fire was approximately 250 metre.

“Based on the fact that the roof of the building had already collapsed and that no nearby buildings were threatened by the fire, firefighters opted to establish a continuous water relay system using a light pump and an open water source instead of using the tank’s supply,” the release noted.

1 Comment
  1. habeeb says

    Water tender had a full tank (450 gallons) of water to fight this fire…. 450 gallons ?
    My septic system carries at all times- 1000 gallon of water, just to process waste… yes, waste.

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