30 Prison Officers displaced as fire guts Kingston building


A fire of unknown origin on Friday morning destroyed a two-storey wooden building on Parade Street, Kingston, Georgetown, which housed some 30 prison officers.

The fire started at the Prison Service Bachelor’s Quarters at around 09:26 hrs; upon receiving the call, the Fire Service dispatched three water bowsers, including the hydraulic platform.

Divisional Commander, Hemchandra Persaud told the News Room that firefighters experienced challenges with sourcing water from a nearby hydrant and had to resort to an open water source at the Lamaha canal.

The scene of the fire (Photo: News Room/February 02, 2024)

“There is no likelihood that the fire would spread. We have it under control,” Persaud said.

The News Room was informed that the building housed at least 30 prison officers who are stationed at the Lusignan and Georgetown prisons.

It is unclear how many of the officers were in the building at the time but they were all safely evacuated.

Meanwhile, Director of Prisons Nicklon Elliot told the News Room that a building has already been secured to temporarily house the affected prison officers.

The burnt remains of a section of the building (Photo: News Room/February 02, 2024)

At the same time, he said measures are in place to ensure the welfare of the affected officers are taken care of.

“We are looking to address their immediate needs and their intervention. They lost everything,” Elliot said.

According to Elliot, the building was equipped with fire extinguishers which were utilised by at least one officer.

“Recently as yesterday, we had a fire prevention talk from the fire service but unfortunately this happened today so definitely we need to review all of our facilities’ fire prevention techniques,” Elliot said.

Fire officers battling to put out the fire (Photo: Ministry of Home Affairs/ February 02, 2024)

The destroyed building is located next door to the Theatre Guild; Parade Street has several businesses, as well as, a school. As a precautionary measure, the children were safely evacuated.

The Guyana Fire Service has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

“A comprehensive incident report will follow upon the operation’s conclusion,” the Fire Service said.

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