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Fire leaves over 200 homeless in Guyana

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana – A fire tore through a gold-mining town in Guyana’s jungle interior, destroying the commercial centre and leaving more than 200 people homeless, authorities said.The blaze began shortly after sundown on Thursday in Mahdia and ravaged more than two dozen buildings, including supermarkets and warehouses, according to Senor Bell, administrative chairman of the Potaro Siparuni region.“Everything is flattened, everything is destroyed in the area,” Bell said.Authorities said the fire apparently started with an electrical malfunction and spread quickly through the wooden and cement buildings.Miners formed bucket brigades with water from nearby creeks, but they only managed to save two buildings downtown, Bell said. The Guyana Fire Service does not have a presence in the remote town near the border with Brazil.Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and other officials were scheduled to fly to the hilltop town of 5 000 people to review the damage. (AP)