Amid heated campaigning for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) January 25 elections, another situation is gaining the attention of Tobagonians—a “mysterious” fire seems to be following the George family of Castara. The family has been the victim of five fires in five weeks, and the family’s sixth in months.
Fire officials are baffled by the situation.
“This is a monster situation that none of us have a solution for as yet,” David Joseph-Thomas, fire officer told Guardian Media.
He said eight of the 13 family members affected by the situation are now homeless.
“Nobody was willing to accommodate them because everywhere they have gone over the past month went up in flames,” the fire official said.
He added, “There is no end in sight in terms of what is motivating that attack…if it’s an attack whether it be normal or otherwise. There is no reason that we can substantially put forward. We are now in the process of elimination and looking for commonalities.”
Joseph-Thomas also said all stakeholders, including the police, Social Services Department and the Tobago Emergency Management Agency, met on January 7 to discuss the matter as the situation is now grim.
Asked if officials had discussed spiritual help for the family as suggested by numerous persons on social media after the third fire, Joseph-Thomas said, it was not a serious consideration.
“Last night, a church was burned. We would expect in a situation like that, you would not have serious spiritual challenges. We are not in a position to say which power supersedes which power. Although it is something that you can factor in to the situation, I will not conclude that those are the circumstances.”
The family’s situation became public after the fire on Christmas Eve last year.
According to fire officials, there was another fire on January 3, one on January 5, and another on January 6. On January 5, the downstairs apartment of the Pentecostal church, where the family stayed caught afire. On January 6, the church burned.
This is the family’s sixth fire, as a restaurant, owned by a family member, burned months ago, the fire official said.
Joseph-Thomas officials say they are hoping to stop the fires and keep the family safe.