12 fires, 2 deaths recorded for 2024; majority electrical in origin – Fire Chief


Within the first week of 2024, the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) recorded a total of 12 fires which resulted in the loss of two lives and investigations have concluded that most of the fires were electrical in origin.

“We would have had 12 fires already for the year and two deaths.

“The trend we are seeing so far is persons overloading the use of electrical circuits. That is the main cause of some of these fires,” Fire Chief Gregory Wickham told the News Room on Monday.

Five of these fires occurred last Saturday. It saw the destruction of four houses in the areas of Sophia, Georgetown; Agricola and Providence, East Bank Demerara and South Vryheid’s Lust, East Coast Demerara.

A black Nissan motor car, bearing registration number PJJ5730 was also destroyed in another fire at Leonora, West Coast Demerara the same day.

During an interview with the News Room at the sidelines of an event on Monday, Wickham said that the fire service continues to “aggressively” engage citizens, particularly homeowners on fire safety and prevention mechanisms.

He said at the beginning of the year, the fire service embarked on a campaign aimed at educating members of the public on what action can be taken in the event of a fire.

Fire Chief (ag) Gregory Wickham

“Each firefighter had the task over the past week to meet at least one member of their community. We have in total of 800 plus firefighters…That exercise will continue until the end of the month,” Wickham explained.

He added,  “We have been doing a lot of fire prevention education to members of the public…We have been doing more inspections and training with members of the public particularly as it relates to fire prevention,” Wickham said.

At the same time, Wickham added that the fire service continues to boost its resources to respond in the event of fires.

“We will continue to build our capacity, human resource, material, equipment, and resources and use them to demonstrate our readiness to respond to these eventualities,” he said.

But to prevent these incidents which oftentimes result in significant losses, Wickham is urging members of the public to play their part by practicing and adopting fire safety rules.

“…It is better not to have to fight a fire because every time we have to fight a fire there is always an economic loss to individuals and the nation and so it is our duty to ensure that we stop that kind of breakdown in our infrastructure and the loss of lives.

“One fire is one too much for us as members of the Guyana Fire Service so we endeavor to ensure that we spread the message of fire prevention and safety so we can bring calm to this rush of fires that we had over the period,” Wickham told the News Room.

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