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The house destroyed by fire allegedly belonging to one of the men who accompanied Michael Sooknanan to the refinery were he was electrocuted.

Police suspect arson was the cause of a fire that destroyed the home of one of the men who was allegedly with 14-year-old Michael Sooknanan when he got electrocuted while stealing copper at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

Sooknanan’s family, however, has distanced themselves from the fire that occurred on Wednesday night.

The boy left home on Tuesday evening with the 26-year-old man, a welder, who lived near his home at Cotton Hill Road, Mayo. He told his mother that he was going to work. When he failed to return home, his parents made a missing person’s report at the Gasparillo Police Station.

However, around 9 am on Wednesday his body was found on top of an electricity pole along Robel Avenue on the Petrotrin compound. Later that day, the welder gave police a written statement admitting that he picked up Sooknanan and another man from La Romaine.

He told police he parked near the Gasparillo entrance to Petrotrin and they passed through a hole in the fence. When Sooknanan climbed up the post, he said he saw sparks and realised that the boy was being electrocuted.

The welder said he and the other man fled.

Hours after Sooknanan’s body was found Wednesday, around 9.10 pm a neighbour saw the welder’s house on fire and called the fire service.

Neither the welder nor his girlfriend was at home when the fire broke out at their Cotton Hill Road, Gasparillo home. The welder and his relatives refused to be interviewed yesterday.

However, police suspect that the fire was linked to Sooknanan’s death.

Sooknanan’s father Thomas Richards said, “I was up here with my whole family weeping for my son. I heard a fire brigade and somebody came and said it have a fire there, but right now its my weeping time. It’s not my business, not my concern. I not interested in that but if there’s life I would try to save.”

He said he was leaving their justice in the hands of God.

Michael’s mother Sandy Sooknanan lamented, “I miss my son and he was a nice loving son to me until this boy say let us go and he did not want to go. My son tell me before he leave ‘I coming back mummy. I coming back.’ And I never see my son again.”

The woman said her son Michael was not involved in any illegal activities.

“He does not steal. Ask people about him in the area, he helps people.”

Richards said he allowed his son to work with the welder because he trusted him.

He claimed on Tuesday night he asked the welder about his son’s whereabouts.

“I say where did you drop my son? He say he drop him down by the step there to go and get something in the parlour.”

Richards said he knew something was wrong and went to the police.

Investigations are continuing.

The boy’s mother said Michael was looking forward to his birthday next month.

“He make his little hustle, he buy up his clothes for his birthday, his 15th birthday and my son is not here to even wear it.”

His parents said he dropped out of school about two years ago because he wanted work.

Investigations are continuing.