Seventeen school-aged girls escaped unhurt when the St Angela’s Girls Hostel in the village of Karasabai, Region Nine went up in flames during the wee hours of this morning.
The Guyana Fire Service and the Guyana Police Force are conducting investigations. A number of Government officials visited the scene of the fire today.
In a statement, the Guyana Fire Service confirmed that all of the occupants of the dorm facility were evacuated, but the entire building was destroyed by the fire.
There are reports that a number of persons were questioned today.
Region Nine Regional Democratic Councillor, Marlon Edwards, who resides in Karasabai, told News Source that the community is grateful that no one was injured in the blaze.
“Fortunately, the building was not heavily grilled, and so the students, all of them, which is 17 of them were in the building at that time, managed to escape without any harm,” he said.
The Regional Councillor said it is unclear at the moment what may have resulted in the fire that consumed the entire building.
“At the moment, we do not know the origin of the fire, however, investigations are ongoing. We have in the community a number of technical persons from the Ministry of Education, also, we have here with us, the Minister of Home Affairs, and the Chief Education Officer from the Ministry of Education. Persons, who were living nearby to the hostel, they rushed to the scene but there was nothing much they could have done since the fire was already out of control. So, there is nothing that the people could have done. There is only one fire truck in the region, which is based in Lethem, which is very far. So, at the moment, the building is completely destroyed, the building along with all that were in it, which is the mattresses, the wooden bed frames, and personal items belong to the students,” he explained.
Edwards said the St Angela’s Girls Hostel was built and managed by the Catholic Church, and accommodated school-aged girls from other far-flung villages within the district.
“The hostel was built by the Catholic Church on a self-help basis. It was done to help or ease the burden of having students with guardians, students that are from the outlining communities in the subdistrict, and are attending the Karasabai Secondary Department,” he explained.
This is the second major fire to hit Guyana’s Education Sector within days. Just over a week ago, a deadly fire killed a total of 20 children, including a 5-year-old boy, at the Mahdia Secondary School Female Dormitory. Several other schoolgirls were injured.
President Irfaan Ali, who has led the relief efforts, has announced that a Commission of Inquiry will be conducted into the deadly Mahdia blaze. There have been calls by the Opposition for Government Ministers to resign over the deadly Mahdia blaze.