9 homeless after Chase Village blaze

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A man rides a bike outside the burnt out home along Orange Field road, Chase village Chaguanas which left nine people homeless – Lincoln Holder

SEVEN months after covid19 claimed the life of a 69-year-old Chaguanas woman, a fire left her family homeless on Thursday afternoon.

Looking at the burned ruins of the family’s home at Orange Field Road in Chase Village, Maria Esdelle, 54, said: “I thank God that no one was hurt in the fire. Mommy (Marilyn Charles) died seven months ago, and I have not got over her death. So, if someone had died here, it would have been horrible.”

Esdelle and eight relatives became homeless on Thursday at about 5.30 pm when the fire broke out in a bedroom on the top floor of the two-storey house.

She lived on the ground floor with her husband Leotis, 54, and their two sons Kirk, 33 and Kotis, 34. Esdelle’s brother Joseph Charles, his wife Candace and their son seven-year-old Emmanuel also live on the ground floor.

Esdelle’s father, Wilford Charles, 84, and her brother, Aaron Charles, 35, live on the top floor.

Esdelle recalled preparing to cook when someone alerted the family about flames in a back bedroom on the top floor.

“I was cleaning dasheen bush. Daddy was next door by the shop, and Aaron was upstairs. People started to help by throwing buckets of water and calling the fire service. But the top floor was completely destroyed,” Esdelle said.

“Everything downstairs water-soaked and damage. We cannot go on the property because it is unsafe, and walls could crumble at any time.”

Maria Esdelle walks out of the house which was gutted by fire on Thursday in Orange
Field, Chase Village. – Lincoln Holder

Aaron is a freelance photographer and lost all his equipment in the blaze.

Esdelle said, “I feel sorry for Aaron because he was sleeping and could not save anything. He did not get to save as much as his ID card. The family is surviving as best as we could, and of course, we would want to rebuild.

Esdelle was willing to accept help for her family.

“If people decide to help the family, we will take the help. We do not have the money to rebuild right now. If people want to give materials, that is not a problem with us. We have masons in the family.” The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Central Division police and fire officers are investigating.