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|68-year old woman perishes in Soesdyke fire|
|Wednesday, 27 June 2012 23:43|
A 68-year old woman, last night perished in a fire which completely destroyed her home at Beard Man Alley, Community Centre Road, Soesdyke on the East Bank Demerara around 19:00 hrs.
Dead is Hardai Singh, a popular newspaper and greens vendor who lived alone, and plied her trade in the community where she lived.
Neighbours in the close-knit community, recalled that around 19:00 they looked across and saw that the building was on fire, and realizing that she lived alone, rushed over to offer help. However, when they got there, the building was already well alight and the heat was so intense, they were forced to retreat.
Men in the neighbourhood recalled that as they arrived at the burning home, they could hear the woman’s faint voice, crying out for help, but it was impossible to reach her, since she had apparently locked herself away in the house.
The men put up a gallant fight to get into the building, and amidst the wildly raging flames and crackling sounds, they said, they recalled hearing a faint voice crying out for help, but it was impossible to reach her, as the doors were heavily secured, with what neighbours described as some ‘huge bolts’. The faint voice continued to beg for help, until they could no longer hear her.
“We tried breaking the front door,” one neighbour said, “but the bolts were too strong and so the door did not budge.” Meanwhile, the fire department at Timehri was alerted and raced down to the scene, but when they got there she was already dead. She was charred almost beyond recognition, a villager told this newspaper.
Neighbours recalled that she had earlier been imbibing by herself, and surmised she might have been cooking and fallen asleep and the stove left unattended.
Hardai has one daughter who does not live in the community, but on hearing of the tragedy rushed down to Soesdyke to enquire, with the hope that the news she’d gotten was not true. However, when she got there, her worst fears were confirmed.
Weeping uncontrollably, she related that time and again she would beg her mother to come live with her, outside of Soesdyke, but the elderly woman would not hear of leaving her home.
Neighbours recalled that Hardai was a pleasant, jovial and hard-working woman who would get up very early ‘every morning religiously’ and travel to Georgetown, make purchases of greens, as well as collect her newspapers, so that villagers be served before they were ready to go to work and school. “It did not matter what the weather was like, she said she had her job to do, and the rain was doing its work, so she was not going to be kept back,” one villager said.
They also said that it was not the first time that the house was on fire, but noted on previous occasions the fires were put out.
Late last evening, ranks of the police force and fire department were still on the scene and the body was not yet taken away. Neighbours commented that the fire fighters put up a really good job of fire fighting, once having reached the scene of the disaster.
Police are continuing their investigations.
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