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Dec 22, 2014

Fire Guts Ladyville Residence Leaving Family Homeless

A Ladyville family lost all their belongings and the place they called home to a fire on Saturday evening. While it was initially believed to be a case of arson, an official investigation by the National Fire Service has since dispelled claims that the fire was intentionally set.  News Five’s Duane Moody has the following story.

Duane Moody, Reporting

Late Saturday evening, a three bedroom, concrete, bungalow house at number 280 Heron Street in Ladyville went up in fire. The house which was occupied by a family, including a husband, his wife and their children was gutted by the blaze sometime before six p.m.  While the tenants were not at home at the time of the fire, Landlord, Carlos Diaz says he was notified after the fact.

 

Carlos Diaz, Landlord

“I got a call about six-thirty Saturday evening and I was just told pointblank, yo house burn down…done. So there was nothing I could do Saturday evening at that hour; it was already dark. I came here Sunday morning and this is what I met.”

 

Carlos Diaz

Reporter

“Did you have a chance to speak with the tenants in terms of asking them what happened, where did the fire start from?”

 

Carlos Diaz

“No the tenants haven’t made any contact with me. I don’t know where they are; I mean they are displaced. So I am in one place so they can find me, I can’t find them. So they should be able to find me and say man this is what happened and this is how this started. They just called me and say yo house burn down…done.”

 

The scorched walls, melted window frames and charred rubble are all that is left of the house, which was rented to the tenants. Diaz says that he believes that the house was deliberately set on fire.

 

Carlos Diaz

“I looked at what is here and I can only conclude that my house was deliberately set on fire; this is a case of arson. And I can say that because all the windows are metal windows and all the windows are burnt out, but there is a plywood window that suffered no burns. There is a lot of paper around the place, but the windows are burnt out. So I can only conclude that these things were deliberately set on fire, as far as I am concerned.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now who would want to do something like this? I know you said you had it rented out. Do you think they had something to do with it? And if so, why?”

 

Carlos Diaz

“One of the things is that they are always late on their payments; you had to call them all the time. You can see the size of this house. I was renting them this house for two hundred and fifty dollars because I inherited them as a tenant when I bought the house and they say that was what they were paying. Every month I have problem with them to collect my rent. Up to now when the fire happen, twentieth of December, they have not paid their rent for December as yet. And I told them that if you don’t pay the rent, I am going to sell the house because I am tired of this nonsense with you all.”

 

Firefighters were soon after on the scene to contain the inferno. But by then the building and all the household items inside were destroyed by the blaze. Investigations have since revealed that the fire was accidental, says Station Manager of the national Fire Service, Orin Smith.

 

Orin Smith

Orin Smith, Station Manager, Nat’l Fire Service

“Investigation reveals that the fire originated in the northwest bedroom of that structure. The fire was classified as accidental and was the result of a working iron left unattended on a bed.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“There are strong allegations being made by the landlord of the property in which he is alleging a case of arson. Is there anything to corroborate or dispel that notion?”

 

Orin Smith

“Investigation did not reveal any detail in regards to an incendiary fire.”

 

According to Diaz, the value of the house was between seventy-five to one hundred thousand dollars; neither the household items nor the building was insured. Duane Moody for News Five.

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