When fire broke out at her home, pensioner Neela Seecharan tried in vain to save her pets. Sadly, her dog Papa, a cat and a kitten were burnt to death.
Seecharan, 67, the owner of 20 dogs, nine puppies, and about five cats was still trying to determine whether any of her other pets perished when Guardian Media spoke with her yesterday.
The fire started at her St John’s Trace, St Margarets Village, Claxton Baby home just after noon yesterday.
She said she was in the yard when she heard a crackling noise. “When I watch I see black smoke coming from the back of my house. When I run I see it already lighting and you only seeing smoke and fire. I tried to save my dog. He was near to the front door but the heat was so much when I run in that I couldn’t get him out. I could not get out any of them because I have a cat with one eye and she had a baby and it in my bed in a box and I have three other little ones. I don’t know if they perish inside too because I don’t feel they had the chance to run out. Like a high wind blow and it just blaze up.”
Seecharan lived alone but treated the animals like her children.
She recalled that years ago she rescued a dog and then her dog population just kept expanding.
On Tuesday she cashed her pension cheque by a grocery and spent less than $300.
“All the rest of my money burn inside of there. Right now I have nothing. I have no clothes. I lost all my money. What I have on here on me is a little nightie and that is all I had. I don’t have anything, everything burn.”
Seecharan has suffered other tragedies in the past, including losing her only child. She recalled that in November 1992 her 15-year-old son went by her mother for the weekend.
“A pick-up crash into the car when they leave to bring him back home and they burn beyond recognition. So I have no children. The children I have is my animals.” And, in 2011 her home was destroyed during a freak storm. With a grant from the National Commission for Self Help, her home was rebuilt, but it was only outfitted with electricity in January.
“I am a strong praying Hindu and I don’t understand how this happen to me again,” she lamented.
However, Seecharan said over the past two years she had been receiving threats from two residents and she made reports to the police. While she believes the fire was deliberately set, fire and police officers have not yet ascertained the cause of the blaze. Seecharan was not sure where she would be staying for the night. Anyone willing to assist her can contact 746-8902.
Another pensioner was left homeless after a fire gutted her home in Mayaro on Tuesday.
Seventy-eight-year-old Annette Lewis of 3 1/2 mm Guayaguayare Road, Grand Lagoon, told police she left her home around 10 am. Hours later around 3.20 pm she received a call from a relative stating that her home was on fire. When the police arrived at her address, fire officers of the Mayaro Fire Station were in the process of extinguishing the flame.
The police interviewed several people and are pursuing several leads.
PC Gomes of the Mayaro Police Station is investigating.