Arson is suspected in a fire that destroyed a house and auto mechanic business place in Longdenville, Chaguanas, on Saturday evening.
Four people are now homeless.
Police are looking for a 46-year-old male relative, whom they said can assist in their investigations.
Speaking with the Guardian Media on Saturday night, one of the fire victims, aged 21 years, said she is lucky to be alive as she was asleep when the fire broke out. She said with the help of neighbours and other family members, they were able to break down the door to her bedroom and help her escape.
She said everything in the house located at LP 217 Main Road, Longdenville, three vehicles including a customer’s car and her vehicle were destroyed in the fire which was believed to have been ignited in a bed at the home.
“My mum recently moved out with five garbage bags of clothes, a bed and a chest-of-drawers and she came back with a whole house—stove, fridge, deep freezer, everything,” the fire victim said.
She added that the fire started at about 5:52 pm and the police did not arrive on the scene until about 8.30 pm to interview them.
The victim said earlier that evening, the male relative came home and made threats.
“He said that he will light us up,” she told Guardian Media. “He came home. We heard a noise. He said he will light us up. He sat on a glass table, broke it and didn’t even attempt to clean it up.”
“I could have died,” she recalls. “They had to break down my door when they smell the smoke. Piece of the house is board and piece is concrete. The board side is where he lived,” she explained, referring to the male relative. “He lit the mattress because it is the first thing that got caught. He had tyres and stuff in his room and it got caught up and that is how the fire spread,” she added.
A close friend of the family told the Guardian Media that domestic violence has been an issue for years and there was supposed to be court matter this month, which was postponed to May because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The victim said they were given a temporary place to stay at a neighbour’s house who had had a death in the family, and managed to give up an apartment for them to stay until they are able to help themselves again.
The distraught family is asking for help and is thanking those in advance for their compassion and kindness towards them in their time of need.
The family can be contacted at 363-5438, 471-3513, 357-8440 and 318-7575.