Two house fires in Claxton Bay on Sunday morning have left five people homeless.
Rohan Balkissoon, his wife, and two daughters, ages 10 and eleven, lost their home early Sunday morning and later that night fire broke out at the home of Sherriff Khan, 59, a self-employed mechanic.
Both houses were completely destroyed.
Balkissoon, 34, recalled that around 2 am he was jolted from his sleep by a strong smoke odour.
The house was filled with thick black smoke.
“The same time my daughter started coughing, She was saying ‘mummy I cannot see. I cannot breathe.” They all ran to the living room. “I kicked down the front door. We could not pass on the step because it had fire on the step so we had to jump from the gallery, about six feet,” Balkisson said.
Balkissoon tried to put out the fire with water from a hose but it did not help. The flames quickly spread through their wooden and concrete home at Ramesar Trace. The family lost everything.
The children’s tablet devices were also destroyed.
Balkissoon, a wrecker driver, believes that the fire started in the wrecker which was parked under the house and was also completely destroyed.
The wrecker was his only form of income. His wife does not work.
However, a kindhearted businessman is assisting the family with a rent-free apartment for three months.
Through the assistance of the Pointe- a- Pierre MP David Lee, councilor Nadia Khan-Mohammed and the Disaster Management Unit of the Couva Tabaquite Talparo Regional Corporation, the family was provided with mattresses, a tarpaulin, and blankets.
Balkission said they were also promised food hampers, devices for the children and other items. Those interested in assisting the family can contact 3937685.
In the other incident, Khan told reporters that he was awoken by smoke on Sunday night.
Surrounded by fire, Khan said he broke a window and crawled out to safety. He lived alone. His house at Samad Ali Trace, Soledad Road West, did not have electricity. He said he did not know how the fire started.
Asked if he felt was arson, he said, “The police will deal with that.” Sad and depressed over losing his home, Khan said he lost several items of sentimental value that were left to him by his mother.
However, a police report stated that around 10 pm, Khan saw a man whom he knew throwing a pungent-smelling substance throughout the house.
Khan told police he raised an alarm and the man struck a match.
Khan said he became afraid and escaped through a nearby window. When Guardian Media contacted Khan via telephone about the police report, Khan said something which was inaudible, and then the line went dead. Khan-Mohammed said they would also assist Khan in any way they could.