The community of Micobie, one of the satellite districts in Region 8, is continuing to mourn the loss of several of its young residents who perished in a fire at the female dormitory of the Mahdia Secondary School. A parent of one of the students who died explained that the pain is unbearable. He was hopeful that his daughter was one of the 20 students who made it out alive this morning.

Benedict Roberts, the father of the late 13-year-old Andrea Roberts told Guyana Standard that sometime in the wee hours of Monday morning, he and several family members received a call that there was a fire in the dormitory of where his daughter resided. He noted that while he did not immediately receive the news of her demise, he had prayed that she made it out alive.

“They didn’t tell us that people were trapped in the building. All we knew was that there was a fire where she would stay in the dorms,” Roberts said. His fears were however later confirmed, when he received a call that his daughter was among several who were burned to death in the building.

“I can’t explain the way I feel right now. As a father, you don’t ever imagine your children dying this way. She left home to go to school and nothing could have told me that she would (end up) like this. Nothing. It breaks my heart…,” Roberts said. He also explained that all that is left of his daughter are her charred remains. He explained that he was also unable to positively identify his daughter.

The names of those who perished were confirmed as; Eulanda Carter, Valerie Carter, Mary Dandrade, Martha Dandrade, Lisa Roberts, Nicholeen Robinson, Sherana Daniels, Andrea Roberts, Delicia Edwards, Ariana Edwards, Loreen Evans, Sabrina John, Belnisa Evans, Bibi Jeffrey. Natalie Bellarmine, Adonijah Jerome, Cleoma simon, Tercell Thomas and Shurlin Bellarmine.

The Guyana Fire Service said that when firefighters arrived on the scene, the building was already completely engulfed in flames.

Fourteen youths died at the scene, while five died at the Mahdia District Hospital. The GFS said that it did manage to rescue some 20 students by breaking holes in the north-eastern wall of the building.


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