A MYSTERIOUS multi-million dollar fire yesterday destroyed the Carapichaima mansion of sanitation contractor Jawarhalal Deosaran.
The blaze was the fifth to break out at the house in four weeks. Police were told the fires began soon after an employee was fired.
The mansion at Southern Main Road, near St Mary's Junction, was estimated to be worth at least $5 million, and was 95 per cent destroyed, fire fighters said.
Deosaran, who owns Amalgamated Sanitation Company at El Socorro, was out of the country yesterday, seeking medical treatment.
One relative was at home at the time of the blaze, which was first spotted shortly after 9 a.m.
Other buildings on the compound were not affected.
The compound, which is secured by electronic gates, has a swimming pool, basketball court, warehouses, work sheds, and garages for industrial equipment, machinery and trucks.
Fire fighters said that at around 9.30 a.m they received a call that the house was on fire.
Relative Sherry Ann Sieunarine said that one person was at home when the fire started.
Freeport police said that from their investigations, the fire originated in a play room on the ground floor, and spread throughout the rest of the house.
Deosaran was expected to return yesterday, a relative said. He and his wife occupied the premises, the Express was told.
Deosaran is the son of Balraj Deosaran, a former People's National Movement MP, who founded the sanitation business.
Fire Divisional Officer Henry Campbell of the Chaguanas Fire Station told the Express, "The fire was playing cat and mouse with us. So when we thought we had it under control, it was still spreading."
Campbell said there was an adequate water supply but fire officers still used water from the swimming pool to help extinguish the blaze.
In past weeks, several reports were also made at the Freeport Police Station, that rooms in the mansion had ignited without apparent cause, and clothing and furniture had burned, following threats to the family from an ex-employee.
Police said a Hindu priest had previously visited the house and extinguished a fire using "holy water".
In July 2004, Deosaran's son, Rodney Deosaran was kidnapped and a $10-million ransom demand was made.
He was held captive for 42 days before his release.