Fire Prevention Officers say they have no confirmation yet that the fire which started in the constituency office of Moruga MP Michelle Benjamin was maliciously set.
The fire occurred weeks after the same office at Petite Cafe, Indian Walk, Princes Town, was burglarised.
Speaking to Guardian Media, Benjamin said she believed the fire was an act of arson which could be politically motivated.
She said around 1 am she got a call that the building was ablaze.
“I live 15 minutes away and when I got there the fire services and police were here. The fire in the building had been contained already but there was significant damage,” Benjamin said.
She revealed that the fire started in the office of the manager.
“What I find suspicious is that the office has no other electricals. All we had in there was the monitor, a phone and the DVR,” she added.
Benjamin said in October, her office was burglarised and she subsequently installed cameras out of her own pockets.
“Fearing for my safety, I did not bring it to the attention of the media,” she said.
She added, “I know the building through and through. This wooden building is a landmark and we have tried to preserve the architectural structure. It was a doctors office at one time. It has sentimental value to me because I started my career here as a young professional in 2010,” Benjamin revealed.
She added, “I am at a loss and I’m terribly shaken up but I am thankful that no one was injured.” Valuable documents, she said, was destroyed.
“I had a Christmas drive going on. I also had a few landslips from Mandingo to Lengua that I was lobbying to get fixed. I have a lot of documents from my constituents who needed help so it is really distressing to have lost all of that,” she added.
Asked who she felt was responsible, Benjamin said she was not sure.
Even though the fire came a week after the UNC’s internal elections in which she found herself at the centre of a controversy, Benjamin said she did not suspect any member of her UNC family.
“Even if people attack me, I leave it up to God. When it comes to my UNC family, this is not my UNC family because they know when it comes to Michelle it is one love. This is outside of my UNC family.”
She said there were some community activists with PNM links who have been engaged in a smear campaign against her.
However, she said despite the setback she will continue working with diligence.
A senior fire officer said yesterday that they cannot confirm whether the fire was set by an arsonist.
“We have a competent team who is doing the investigations after which we will make a pronouncement. As it stands we cannot confirm or deny that this was the work of an arsonist,” the officer responded.
The damages to the building were estimated to be about $800,000. Only 25 per cent of the building was destroyed.