– arson suspectedBy Andrew CarmichaelA 78-year-old rice farmer of 135 ‘A’ Mibicuri South, Blackbush Polder, Corentyne is now contemplating his next move after losing an estimated $22 million in a fire which gutted his two-storey wooden and concrete home on Saturday morning.The house was occupied by Marvin Duncan, 78, and his 65-year-old wifeThe house on fire in Black Bush PolderClaudette, who operated a grocery store and liquor parlour. No one was said to be at home when the fire started, prompting the suspicion that arson may have been the cause of the blaze.According to Duncan, he and his wife had left their Lot 35 ‘A’ Mibicuri South, Black Bush Polder home at about 07:30h on Saturday morning and within 10 minutes of leaving he received a telephone call stating that his house was on fire.Visibly devastated, the man disclosed to this publication that before making his way back to Black Bush Polder, he made a visit to the Whim Police Station seeking assistance in making contact with the Fire Service but the closest one was not available. However, contact was made with the Corriverton Fire Station which immediately dispatched firefighters to the scene. They did not manage to save the building since it was already gutted by the time they arrived at the scene.Duncan estimates his loses at $22 million. The elderly rice farmer, who also owns a grocery shop in the bottom flat of his house, said the shop sold everything for the community and the parlor was popular in that part of Black Bush Polder.He is of the belief that someone deliberately set the fire to the three-bedroom, wood and concrete structure. Duncan, a rice farmer for approximately 30 years, noted that he suspected arson to be the cause of he and his wife currently being homeless. The elderly man revealed that he recently had a confrontation with an individual (whose name was given) about being a bad influence towards the younger generation within the village. He accused the man of providing illegal drugs to the community and confronted the now suspect about this issue.However, after the confrontation between the two, remarks and derogatory slangs would be meted out to Duncan whenever the young man was around. According to him, the young man seemed to be very furious while they were making their way out of the village on Saturday morning as he stood next to a bus shed.Duncan said from all indications the fire was started at the back of the building where he had a room with a bed. He is of the opinion that someone threw something flammable through the window which was left open.He further explained that they did not light the stove before leaving home.Reports are that the blaze was first seen in the area of the bedroom which also housed washroom facilities.Eyewitnesses say the fire quickly engulfed the building even before they could make attempts to form a bucket brigade. Reports are there were three drums of fuel which further assisted the fire.Duncan is bent on continuing his rice farm in which he cultivates 30 acres.He is currently preparing for the 2018 spring crop.The fire service and Police are conducting investigations.
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