ON-GOING gang warfare in Laventille yesterday resulted in the torching of two houses which left a total of 13 people homeless.
At 1.30 p.m., the first house was set ablaze but by the time fire officers had returned to their Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, headquarters at 2.15 p.m. they had to return to the area as another house had been torched.
Residents did not want to go on the record as they feared the situation was going to get even worse and they would be caught in the cross-fire.
Both fires occurred at Clifton Hill which is obliquely opposite Beverly Hills, John John. While counting their losses, Clifton Hills residents quietly grumbled about a Beverly Hills gang who they said was responsible for the two fires.
A woman who wished to remain unidentified shouted loudly at the police, "I don't know why they don't lock up them so," as she pointed her lower lip towards Beverly Hills.
The first house that was burnt contained two apartments.
One of them was occupied by Andy Huggins who sells peanuts. He said he had lost over $200,000 in furniture, appliances and fixtures which he had purchased about a year-and-a-half ago.
"I paid for all my things cash and it is really, really sad what going on here," he said.
Another resident who did not want to be named said for the last two weeks their homes had been shot at by a Beverly Hills gang. He even pointed out what he described as "fresh bullet holes" on the walls of his house.
The second tenant of the first house that was burnt, Makeda Romain, breathed heavily as she spoke.
She said she was out at the time and was in downtown Port of Spain when she heard the news about her home.
"Little children up here are not even enjoying their childhood up here because everybody frighten," she said.
The scene of another fire was just a stone's throw away.
This house contained three apartments.
None of the tenants wanted to be identified but a woman spoke loudly enough for anyone to hear her saying, "When the police gone is we to ketch here tonight...well not me. I gone."
Another woman who lived in one of the apartments said their homes were shot at last week and she and the other occupants had to hide below their beds to escape being struck when the shooting began.
The second of yesterday's fires had not yet been brought under control when several Clifton Hill residents began moving out their belongings in a bid to leave the neighbourhood.
They too did not want their names mentioned but they said that they were not taking any chances.
Besson Street CID officers are continuing investigations.