The devastating fire, which gutted the dormitory at the Mahdia Secondary School, was “maliciously set,” an initial investigation conducted by the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) has revealed.
As such, Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken said that an investigation by the Police had been launched.
He explained that DNA testing would be done for the 13 females who died at the dormitory while Post Mortem Examinations (PMEs) were completed on six bodies.
A total of 59 girls were staying in the dorms, but only 56 were in the rooms when the fire started at about 23:15h on Monday.
Those who died, according to hospital records, are Eulanda Carter, Valerie Carter, Mary Dandrade, Martha Dandrade, Lisa Roberts, Nicholeen Robinson, Sherana Daniels, Andrea Roberts, Delicia Edwards, Ariana Edwards, Loreen Evans, Sabrina John, Belnisa Evans, Bibi Jeffrey, Natalie Bellarmine, Adonijah Jerome, Cleoma Simon, Tercell Thomas and Shurlin Bellarmine.
Thirteen of the girls and a little boy died at the dorms, while five died at the Mahdia Hospital.
Of those injured, six children were medevacked to Georgetown in the wee hours of Monday, while 17 are in the Mahdia Hospital.