An Erin family was forced to stand by and watch as their home was torched by two gunmen on Wednesday.
Budram Williams, 62, his wife Hilrie Kadoo, 53, their six daughters and ten grand-children were ordered to stand under a mango tree as the men doused their two-storey house with gasoline before striking a match.
The masked men told the family that they were given instructions to burn down the home.
The attack occurred at Buenos Ayres, Erin at around 4p.m.
Williams, the owner of the house, was beaten on the head with a gun, police said.
Williams’ step-daughter Jiselle Kadoo said, “The children just came home from school and were playing in the yard. The men came in and told everybody to sit on the steps. They shouted that they were ordered to burn down the house.”
Kadoo said the men rounded up the family and then moved them under a mango tree in the front yard.
“One of them hit my step-father in the head with a gun. They didn’t rob the family of anything. They just said they were ordered to do this. They told everyone to look down and don’t look at their faces, although they were wearing masks,” she said.
Kadoo said the men doused gasoline on the house and set it on fire before running into some bushes.
She said the family lost everything they owned in the blaze. The children ages two months to 12 years were traumatised by the incident.
“We lost everything and now the family is scattered because we have nowhere to go. We are staying with friends and relatives. I don’t recall anyone threatening the family or any altercation with anyone. If someone tell me something, I would just walk away,” she said.
Kadoo said after the gunmen escaped her mother ran to a neighbour’s house for assistance.
But by the time fire officers arrived the house was destroyed.
Fire officers estimated damage at $400,000.
Erin police are investigating.