Carletta Williams, the caretaker at the Mahdia Secondary School female dormitory that was destroyed by fire on Sunday night, killing 18 girls, lost her 5-year-old son Adonijah Jerome in the inferno. He died while she bravely fought to save several students who were trapped in the building.

The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) has since confirmed that the fire which rocked the nation was maliciously set. The fire erupted just after 23:00 hours.

After being alerted to the fire, Carletta rushed out of her apartment which is housed in the female dormitory building. She had left her son behind as she attempted to save the students who were locked in the dorm.

During an interview with the Mayor of Mahdia, David Adams he explained that for privacy the dorm mother has her own apartment, which she shared with her son.

He said, “I understand when she was alerted to the fire, she rushed out of her apartment and ran to save them, leaving her son behind. It was during the chaos that her son ended up perishing in the fire.”
Mayor Adams added that by the time the fire fighters arrived on the scene, the building was already fully engulfed in flames.

According to him, the fire fighters tried their best. “We only have one fire tender in the township and what made it also difficult is the fact that they had no fire hydrant in the area where the fire took place,” Adams said. He continued that the fire fighters had to shuttle water from the creek to the dorm. However, in order to save the children, public spirited persons and the fire fighters had to break the walls of the dorm.

Moreover, the mayor shared that some of the students who were staying in the dorm that managed to escape from the burning building was not able to write the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination.

While the children who survived will be sleeping in the Mahdia Secondary School tonight, the mayor disclosed that some of their parents have requested that their children be sent back home to the various villages, and given some time off from school.


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