The Guyana Fire Service has revealed that the 26 windows of the Mahdia school dormitory where 19 children died in a horrific fire on Sunday night were ‘heavily grilled’.
A Fire Department statement also said five doors were locked.
The statement disclosed that preliminary investigations have determined that the fire was ‘maliciously set’ at the Mahdia Secondary School female dormitory.
Firefighters entered the building by breaking holes in the dormitory’s northeastern wall.
At a national vigil, President Dr. Irfaan Ali called on all of Guyana to reach out with prayers and good thoughts to support the bereaved.
During the vigil, people from all walks of life paid tribute to the victims by laying flowers and candles.
Guyana’s Department of Public Information said a special team had started collecting DNA samples from unidentified children who perished in the blaze and their parents.
President Ali disclosed on Tuesday that the samples would be sent to the prestigious Mount Sinai laboratory in New York for analysis.
The matching results are expected by Friday.
Since the fire, several local, regional, and international partners have pledged to assist Guyana.
They included the United States, Barbados, and the Pan American Health Organization.
Cuba has also promised medical support.