The Guyana Fire Service has confirmed that the fire which claimed 19 lives at the Mahdia Secondary School female dormitory and left others injured, was maliciously set.  

At a media conference on Monday evening, it was revealed that the point of origin was identified to the southwestern end of the building. The scene was handed over to the police. 

The building in which the children stayed was described as a concrete and wooden structure with five doors and grilled windows. At the time of the fire, it was reported 56 children were at the dorm.  

President of Guyana Dr Irfaan Ali at the news briefing announced three days of official national mourning and as of 4 pm for all flags to be flown at half-mast in honour of the children. 

The president gave an update on the victims and stated that three of the girls went home for the weekend from the dorms. Thirteen girls as well as a little boy died at the dorm, and five girls died at the Mahdia Hospital.  

Six girls were medevacked to Georgetown and 17 are at the Mahdia Hospital with preparations being made to have three more medevacked to Guyana’s capital.  

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