Nadine Lawrence, left, and Angelica Michael at their home in Arouca, which was destroyed by fire on Tuesday.

Carisa Lee

Accident or Arson?

This is the question Nadine Lawrence and her family are asking after their Arouca house was destroyed on Tuesday.

“She went by the shop to get something and while she was by the shop somebody say right now smoke in the back by allyuh they (sic) so she say where and they say allyuh not burning rubbish or something and she said no and then time she reach in the back the whole place done burning already,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence said the house had no electricity and they left a single candle burning on a nightstand but she doesn’t believe that could have cause the blaze.

“We was just trying figure out now what could have really cause it because it have nothing close to where the candle was, it was away from everything because we know the danger, “ she said.

In 2008, Lawrence’s sister Malina Michael and her 16-year-old son were killed inside the same house.

After that incident she took her children, her sister’s children and fled.

“From there everything start to go helter skelter because we had to be watching ourselves… we was (sic) on our own out here,” she said.

But over the years their circumstances got worst and Lawrence was unable to pay the rent, so five months ago she and her niece decided it was time to go back home, putting their fears aside.

“We came back because we really didn’t have anywhere proper to stay I was renting she was staying by a friend and well you know how that go… When the time for you to pay rent when you done you have no money to buy food so I say you see me I coming back home,” she said.

The women did the repairs on their own but months of work went up in smoke in a matter of minutes.

“We start to put the money together and buy up things and start to fix the place… Putting up the roof the doors the windows piece by piece and just Monday night she and all (sic) now buy a bed $1500,”she explained.

Lawrence told Guardian Media they thought the situation died down but after Tuesday they are not sure.They were supposed to get the fire report yesterday afternoon.

“But it look like we come back in a bad time I don’t know,” she said.

Lawrence said over the years they applied for a unit from the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and followed up several times since then but got no feedback.

“They maybe want us to sleep in front the building to get help,” she said.

She said all they want is a sense of comfort.

“When the fire happen it bring back memories of my sister’s death….when you come and hear the bawling and everything loss, everything just bring us back to 2008,” she expressed.

Lawrence said they most recently visited the office for the Member of Parliament for the area Camille Robinson-Regis and remain hopeful.

She said they have nowhere to go and are in need of help.

Anyone willing to assist can call Nadine Lawrence at 354-5300.