A single mother of three children who is currently in hospital battling cancer is now homeless after her Triumph, East Coast Demerara (ECD) home suddenly went up in flames on Friday morning.What remained of the property after the fireThirty-seven-year-old Polly Dowkaran of Lot 106 Agriculture Road, Triumph, ECD, and her three minor children, including a two-month-old baby, are left to make alternative living arrangements.Neighbours of the family told Guyana Times the fire started at about 08:00h and no one was at home at the time.According to reports, a neighbour who resides on the southern side of Dowkaran was exiting her home to empty garbage when she saw smoke billowing from the one storey wooden property and immediately raised an alarm.The fire service was quickly called and firefighters managed to contain the blaze to the one location. However, by that time, nothing could have been saved.“The response from the fire service was good, I must commend them but the house was very old so it burned quite fast… only problem was the house behind got a little damaged,” a neighbour reported.Guyana Times was told that an elderly man who occupies the a building aback Dowkaran’s had to be rushed to hospital with burns about his body.“The old man, he house get scorch up and like he was trying to come out but he get burn,” the woman relayed.The man, identified only as “Sundar” was reportedly unable to escape the heat in time.When this newspaper visited the scene, the man was returning from hospital with bandages wrapped around his upper chest and back.His relatives who were escorting him declined to comment. The fire is suspected to have been electrical in origin. The incident is however being investigated.
Carl Edward Murphy Smith, oldest great grandson of AFRO founder, John H. Murphy Sr., died Dec. 15 after a long illness. The Baltimore native and Morgan State University graduate spent most of his career with Bell Atlantic and Verizon, and was an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Over the years Smith served as a member of the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce Board, Chairman of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Drug Abuse, Vice Chairman of the Baltimore City Planning Commission, The Baltimore City Social Services Commission and the Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness. Smith also coached basketball in the Project Survival Youth Program.Carl Edward Murphy Smith (Photo credit: Jackie Van Ly)He was much more than a mere cousin, it was said of Smith who had the distinction of having been among the oldest of the Murphy cousins. “He was the big cousin we all looked up to,“ said the Rev. Dr. Frances “Toni” Draper, pastor of Freedom Temple AME Zion Church. “He was a faithful friend who cherished our family.”Another cousin, Robert Murphy Matthews Sr. called him, “our go-to guy for Murphy family history,” also remembering Smith as “all our babysitter.”The brother of AME Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Smith also is the father of, Qiana Jehan Murphy Smith, Jonee’ Murphy Coates Brown, Michelle Denise Howard and Blair Carl Murphy Smith. He is a former member of the AFRO American Newspapers board of directors.“An initial Celebration of Life Service for Carl Edward Murphy Smith will be held on Thursday, January 4, 2018 (Smith’s birthday) at The Clubs at St. James, 3779 Members Club Blvd, Southport , NC 28461. For more information, please call Blair Carl Murphy Smith at (917) 608-3994.A second Celebration of Life Service will be held in Baltimore beginning on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 11 a.m. for the family hour, with the service following at noon, at Payne Memorial AME Church, 1714 Madison Ave,. Baltimore MD 21217”Please click here for a slideshow of some photos reflecting some of the joys of Carl Edward Murphy Smith