A BMW luxury car mysteriously burst into flames last night while it was parked outside of the Lot 56 Third Street, Patentia, West Bank Demerara home of its owner, who was not at home at the time.
The incident occurred at around 10:30pm last night, sending the normally sleepy community into a tense mode since incidents of this nature are usually unheard of in Patentia.
The police and fire service which arrived within five minutes of the explosion were commended by residents for their surprisingly swift response. But by then the car was already engulfed in flames, while creating explosive sounds which kept the fire service and the lawmen at bay for several more minutes.
The owner of the car, Mr. Nigel Thomas, told this publication that the car had remained parked outside of his residence after he failed in his efforts to get it started early yesterday morning.
Even so, he is of the view that the car had probably gotten overheated and exploded.
But observers were quick to point out that if the car had not started or was not in use, the logic of it becoming overheated could not have been applied in such a case.
Unconfirmed statements by witnesses in the area also added more mystery to the incident since their respective version of events that preceded the explosions seems to suggest that it was a case of arson.
At least according to Mrs. Kristal Thomas, the wife of the victim, and who was at home at the time of the explosion, she heard sounds that appeared to be those associated with gunshots in front of her home.
Sensing that something was amiss, Mrs. Thomas told the Guyana Guardian that she instinctively ran towards her front door, only to find the vehicle ablaze.
Another neighbour also seems to support the sounds that were heard by Mrs. Thomas since she had heard the same thing too. On the other hand, a second neighbour claimed that they heard what sounded like broken glass (presumably as a result of an object or channa-bomb that was thrown) which was followed by a loud explosion.
But even if arson was the case, the Thomas’ do not consider themselves to be a family that has any issues with anyone, and may find it difficult to determine who may have set the car alight.
Nonetheless, the police and the fire service are actively investigating the incident, and may soon be able to determine the true cause of the fire.