Williamsville man, 80, dies after fire, injured brother homeless

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

ALL GONE: Harry Baboolal near the ruins of his house in Williamsville on Thursday. The house was destroyed by fire on Saturday. PHOTO BY LINCOLN HOLDER –

One of two elderly brothers from Williamsville who sustained burns in a fire which destroyed their home over the weekend, has died. Soogrim Baboolal, 80, died at San Fernando General Hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

His brother Harry Baboolal, 75, survived, and when Newsday visited the area on Thursday, he was wearing several bandages. He was burnt on his face and back. He shook his head as he stood among the ruins of the four-bedroom wooden house at Corial Second Branch Road.

The brothers’s Isuzu Trooper van, which was parked in the yard, was also destroyed.

Harry recalled that he and his brother were asleep in a bedroom at the back of the house when he woke up late Saturday night, saw flames from the front bedroom, and awakened Baboolal.

The two pensioners who used to grow and sell crops, initially managed to get out of the burning house without injuries. Baboolal kept telling Harry to, “save some clothes.”

Harry said he was unaware when his brother returned inside the house presumably to retrieve clothes.

“As the fire engulfed the entire house, he started to bawl. At that time, his life was at risk. The fire was intense. I went in and got him out of the house. I put him on the road and walked out to get help,” Harry said.

An EHS ambulance arrived and took both men to hospital. Harry was treated and discharged on Sunday while Baboolal was placed in the intensive care unit.

The house did not have electricity. Baboolal said he found it odd that a fire would start “just so.” He believes the fire was an act of arson.

“I do not have any money to rebuild. We lost everything. I have to do something to survive, but I will not steal or mash anyone’s toes,” Harry said. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and investigations are ongoing.