Penal fire leaves retired school teacher & family homeless

A retired school teacher and her family are now homeless after a fire destroyed their three-story home at Syne Village, Penal Monday.

No one was at home when the fire started after midday but by mid-afternoon, the entire structure had burnt to the ground.

The flames were first spotted in the area of the kitchen but by the time firefighters arrived, it had spread to the entire upper floor.

Amilcar Franklyn said the house was occupied by his mother Marlene Turner-Franklyn and his sister Nathifa Franklyn. 

"I was at work in Freeport when I got the call that the house was on fire.

When I got here they were still trying to douse the flames.

It is traumatic because this is the house I grew up in. It has all our memories of childhood here," Franklyn said.

Asked where the family will be spending the night, Franklyn said, "I don't know.

But we have many family and friends who will assist."

Around 3 pm, Marlene and her daughter arrived.

They walked down the pathway leading to the house where firefighters had gathered under a shed.  Marlene started to walk to the back of the burning house but the firemen cautioned her to stay away. 

Part of the house crumbled afterward and everyone was ordered to evacuate the danger zone. A neighbour said he saw the smoke coming from the building and alerted the fire officers but the flames spread quickly. 

Fire Prevention Officers are expected to visit the scene today to search for the clues into the cause of the blaze.

Penal Police are continuing investigations.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Radhica De Silva)

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