ALL GONE: Mechanic Austin Hazel surveys the gutted vehicles on his property with fire officers following Wednesday's fire which destroyed his home at Mount Carmel Street, Union Road, Marabella. —Photo: DAVE PERSAD

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Marabella man grateful to be alive after fire destroys home

By Sue-Ann Wayow sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com

AUTO and diesel mechanic Austin Hazel lost everything he owned in a midday fire on Wednesday, including three vehicles and two pet dogs.

Hazel said he was fixing an engine on the ground floor of his home at Mount Carmel Street, Union Road, Marabella when a spark from the engine started a fire.

Hazel said he tried extinguishing the fire with water and sand, but it quickly spread.

Hazel, 49, sustained minor injuries from the heat.

The father of two lived in a two-storey wooden and concrete home with his companion Beverly McDavid, who was not at home during the blaze.

Hazel wept, as he counted his losses, but said he was grateful to be alive.

"I have to be grateful that I am alive. But everything I have is gone now. The only thing I have is the clothes I am wearing."

Hazel's home was valued at $250,000.

He owned two 25-seater maxi taxis, one valued at $550,000 and the other $150,000. He also owned a Kia wagon valued at $60,000.

Darren Ramkissoon, one of Hazel's neighbours, said he called the fire fighters who responded quickly. Ramkissoon said Hazel was still in shock over what happened, but all his neighbours were willing to assist him.

The house next door to Hazel's was also damaged. Mahindra Ram, who lives there with his family, said some glass windows were shattered and the wall nearest to Hazel's home was scorched.

Hazel, a father of two, said he would be grateful for any assistance. Anyone willing to assist can call 293-3909 or 658-2935.

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