NOTHING LEFT: The gutted house at Rahamut Trace, Penal yesterday which left a family of three homeless.

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Mom, children homeless following Penal fire

...Arson suspected

By Susan Mohammed susan.mohammed@trinidadexpress.com

ARSON is suspected in a fire which destroyed a Penal home and left a mother and two children homeless yesterday.
Police are searching for a 29-year-old man who resided in the house with Celia Sambucharan and her children Priya, ten, and Balliram, 14, at Rahamut Trace.
Investigators were told the suspect was seen with a cigarette lighter shortly before the house was found ablaze.
Sambucharan, 30, said: “Around 12.30 a.m. he came home from work and he had a Guinness in his hand. He started an argument. I left and went by my mother next door. I saw he took up my birth paper, rings and my purse. I called the San Fernando Police Station and told them what happened. I gave the police his phone number and the police spoke to him. Then after that my mother and son saw him scratching the lighter. They asked him what he was doing but he walked off.”
Sambucharan said the suspect went to his car and drove off, and moments later they discovered the mattresses in the two-bedroom house were on fire.
Her sister, Christine Ramnanan, who lives a few houses away, said neighbours formed a bucket brigade and tried to extinguish the blaze. However, the fire quickly razed the wooden structure.
“We don’t even have water in our tanks today because we used all to out the fire,” said Ramnanan.
“I lost everything,” Sambucharan said. “My daughter is supposed to go to lessons but she cannot go because all of her clothes, shoes and books burned. All we have is the clothes that we had on last night.”
She said she and her children would stay at her relatives.
Sambucharan said she and the suspect had an on-and-off relationship for some ten years.
Balliram, she said, passed his Secondary Assessment Examinations for Penal Government Secondary School and her daughter attended Debe Hindu Primary School.
“Any little help right now will be appreciated so much,” she said.
Anyone who wishes to assist the family can contact Sambucharan at 387-6508.
Police were searching for the suspect yesterday.
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