Trinidad Express:- Fire officers are yet to determine whether the blaze which destroyed two homes in Couva on Divali night was caused by fireworks.
The fire started in an upholstery workshop owned by 61-year-old Michael Rampersad at Baksh Settlement, Mc Bean Village, Couva on Tuesday.
Neighbours said children from the community were playing with scratch bombs and fireworks on the roadway at around 7p.m.
Minutes later, a raging fire was observed inside Rampersad’s workshop.
The fire consumed the workshop, Rampersad’s home and a house belonging to Rampersad’s son, Jimmy.
Jimmy Rampersad, 37, lived in the house with his wife, Videya Lalla, and their four children – ages seven, 10, 12 and 13.
Rampersad said his wife and three of their children had left for the temple and he was resting when neighbours shouted that his house was on fire.
“I ran out and a neighbour helped me to get my 12-year-old son from the house. The fire started in the workshop and spread to my father’s house and my house. The three houses were destroyed within minutes,” he said.
Rampersad said his wife saw the children playing with fireworks on the roadway but could not confirm the cause.
“My wife left the house about five minutes before the fire started and she saw the chikdren playing on the road. We were renovating our home and we lost everything in the fire including my children’s books and uniforms,” he said.
Rampersad said his father lived alone in the house next door. He also lost everything in the blaze, he said.
The family stayed at the home of a friend on Tuesday night.