Ogle orphanage destroyed by fire

first_imgEighteen orphans of the Shaheed’s Girls Orphanage were awakened after an early morning fire at the Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD) residence on Saturday.Reports are the fire started at about 06:45h in the upper flat of the wooden and concrete building, which is located at Lots 7 and 8 Oleander Gardens, Ogle, ECD.Guyana Times was told that one of the two caretakers, 59-year-old Shantie Pooram, was alerted by one of the children, who noticed the dense smoke emerging from a room on the western end of the building.An alarm was raised and the children were rushed out of the building. The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) were also alerted about the fire.When this publication arrived at the scene, an employee of a neighbouring building who identified himself only as “Wendell” explained that the response time from the fire fighters was swift but by the time they had arrived, the upper flat of the orphanage was completely burnt out.“It was a big, big blaze. I working here a good while and I never see no fire or anything. When I watch, you could see is the current cause the lady (caretaker) don’t get nothing burning,” Wendell related.Apart from the three tenders that were on site, water was also sourced from a neighbouring swimming pool. He noted that a bucket brigade was also formed to contain the blaze, which advanced to the outside of the premises, scorching a vehicle and ravaging adjacent vegetation.“He take too long to move the car cause we take out the battery so by the time we realise, the fire come over the fence, burn the grass and burn the car,” he told this publication.Guyana Times understands that the inferno would have caused damages in excess of $50 million and it is even more devastating since the building was uninsured. While the upper flat was completed gutted, only the concrete structure on the lower flat remained intact, covered with the charred debris.Fire Prevention Officer of the Fire Service, Andrew Holder told this publication that an investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire since officers were still collecting information at the scene.“We are doing an investigation because officers are at the scene. Eighteen girls were living there and the caretaker. The building you can say was completely destroyed and investigations are ongoing,” said Holder.Meanwhile, the orphanage representative has assured that all of the children are safe with no injuries and were relocated to the Shaheed’s Boys Orphanage in Kitty, Georgetown.last_img