RADHICA DE SILVA ([email protected])
Two months after being threatened, three families were left homeless when a fire destroyed their home at Barrackpore on Saturday night.
The Chatoor, Lalchans and Lal families of Tin Pan Alley believe the fire was maliciously set.
Recalling the tragedy, Hema Mohammed said she was at home around 7 pm when she started to smell something burning.
“I was about to cook dinner and I felt a bit congested. I walked into my room called out to one of the boys who living home and asked him if he was burning anything outside. He said he had an incense stick but it almost burn out. We started to check and when Brandon walk into mom’s room he say mom’s room burning down.”
Another relative Avinash Chatoor tried to extinguish the fire.
“I break the lock to get in but the whole sidewall and the roof started to fall,” Chatoor said. He said everyone started to run out of the house as they could not save anything.
“The whole front of the house caught fire and I was pleading for help. I tried to save the dogs but I could only save one of them. There were two people with vans but they did not assist. They must stand up and watch as if it was a normal bush fire burning,” Chatoor recalled.
A Bluebird car, which was parked out front was destroyed along with two pet dogs, a turtle, birds, and tropical fish,
“I lost everything I worked hard to buy. My laptop, my cellphone and my speakers. Everything is gone!” Chatoor said.
While the family sat outside watching the smouldering ruins, one of the relatives fainted and had to be carried away.
Shanti Lalchan said she was not at home when the fire started but had gone to visit the relatives of a friend who had been murdered
Joanne Chatoor said she believed the fire was maliciously set.
She said two months ago they had a dispute with someone who threatened them.
“They said we cannot live here. They will make sure of that,” she said. Chatoor explained, “There was a dispute over an engine and he hit my brother a sledgehammer and the police did nothing about it.
She explained that the house had four bedrooms, three kitchen quarters and a toilet and bath. Damages were estimated to be over $120,000.
Karisha Jaggernauth and her boyfriend Brandon Bedassie, who were staying with the families were also left homeless.
Anyone willing to assist the families can contact Joanne at 392-4663, Lalchan at 277-7388 or Avinash at 314-9490.