first_imgThe charred remains of 82-year-old James Johnson, a pensioner, was on Saturday afternoon found among the debris of the multiple occupancy building at Victoria Road, Plaisance that was destroyed by fire.Fire Prevention Officer, Andrew Holder, was the one who made the discovery sometime at 15:00h on Saturday after relatives reported the elderly man as being unaccounted for. According to Holder, firefighting activities went on until about 02:00h on Saturday morning as the search for the pensioner in the burnt buildings intensified, after residents reported a strange scent emanating from the still smoking debris.“After several checks with family members turned up empty-handed, we decided to thoroughly comb the debris. On doing so I uncovered the remains of a body. I cannot say whether it is a male or female but it is the remains of a human body,” Holder explained.Fire officials, Police and residents gathered as word spread on the discovery of the pensioner’s body in the debris“The area in which the body was found, I understand from a resident of the home that an elderly person lived there, an 82-year-old gentleman of the name James Johnson,” he added.He further stated that following the discovery, ranks from the Criminal Investigations Department were summoned and investigations were launched. The remains of the body are being kept at the Lykens Funeral Parlour for further analysis.When asked about the cause of the fire, the expert related that investigations are still ongoing, and several theories are being examined.“There are reports of persons having to run into this building and they to put out accidental fires. A gentleman, from the back, said on several occasions he had to come into the elderly gentleman apartment because he forgot something on, like the stove etc,” he noted.“What I can say… this building being a multi occupancy building, the wiring, the electrical installation was not at its best… there were a lot of improvised electrical installation with drop cords running here and there and it (the investigation) can lead in any direction but it will take some time,” Holder added.The dead man’s neighbour related that he did not see Johnson at any time on Friday, adding that his fears were confirmed when he contacted the man’s daughter who informed him that her father was in the building at the time of the fire.He added that Johnson was a friendly person and he would regularly check in on the elderly man. Meanwhile, Junior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomes, led a delegation to meet with the victims and she pledged Government’s support to provide aid.The Minister and a member of the gold mining fraternity said there are many mining operators reaching out to her to provide assistance to the victims and that in the coming days, that will materialise.On her visit, Broomes presented the victims with toiletries and other supplies.On Friday at about 14:30h, smoke was seen emanating from the Lot 40-41 Victoria Road, Plaisance, East Coast Demerara apartment building while most of its occupants were lining the streets of Georgetown either watching the annual Mashramani Costume and Float Parade or revelling with one of the bands.Guyana Times understands persons became aware to the blaze when thick smoke was seen billowing from the apartment building owned by Shirley Cummings, who resides next door. The Guyana Fire Service was called to the scene, but by the time its tenders arrived, the fire had already spread to two other houses located aback the apartment building, and to an unoccupied house next door.The flattening of the building resulted in over 30 persons becoming homeless.last_img read more