IN DISTRESS: Retired head teacher Juliana Joseph (inset) and her gutted home
A late afternoon fire at lot 21 Melanie North, East Coast Demerara has rendered seven persons including a retired 77 year old head teacher and two children homeless.
Speaking with this publication, , Juliana Joseph a former head teacher of Queenstown Community High School said that she was in her veranda preparing for an online program when she felt a heat. Ms Joseph said she looked back and saw fire in the back of the house coming from the kitchen area and she immediately raised an alarm and run out the house, down the stairs and into the yard.
According to her, she lost everything in the fire including two fridges and three beds among other household appliances. She could not say what started the fire. Ms. Joseph retired back in 1997.
Meanwhile her niece Joan Moore who lived downstairs with her family said she heard the shouts of fire while she was picking fruits to make juice and immediately began a roll call to know where everyone in the house was located in order to have a smooth evacuation exercise from the burning building.
The 56 year old woman said they had to hurry and get the keys to the gate as the family is in the habit of always keeping the gate locked.
When this publication arrived at the scene, residents were there comforting those who are now displaced while other spectated as the fire fighters ensured that the burning building was properly saturated.
We were also told by one resident of the area that a gas bottle which was in the burning building blow u causing a zinc sheet from the affected building landing on the roof of another building where a semi conflagration also stared forcing the fire fighters to also pay some attention to that building.
The fire took place just a stone’s throw away from the Melanie fire Station but by the wood structure was quickly ravaged by the fire.