The charred remains of Fazim Ally Asgar, 49, who lived alone in the one-bedroom house, was pulled from the debris after the blaze was quelled. The cause of the fire was unclear but persons suspected that it might have been caused either by a lit cigarette or a lit mosquito coil.
Relatives were not sure at first if Asgar was in the house because they noticed a padlock on the front door as they tried to douse the building. He had apparently entered the house through an open window.
Asgar had earlier told relatives that he was going to Bath Settlement and was planning to stay over with other family members there. Persons then recalled seeing him walking in the village around 8 pm.
A sister, Betty said everyone was fast asleep when the fire started around 10:40pm and that persons who were passing in a vehicle saw it and raised and alarm. Some of the neighbours also ran out and shouted, “Fire! Fire!”
During the blaze, Ramzan, the dead man’s older brother, heard a faint sound in the house and a “scrambling” on the front door and tried desperately to break it open.
As the fire became more intense, Ramzan was scorched on his left hand and shoulder and persons shouted at him to abandon the idea of rescuing his brother. He was later treated at the Fort Wellington Hospital.
He assisted others in dousing the building but they could not contain the fire. They then focused on saving the neighbour’s house. The fire tender arrived later and put the fire out completely.The dead man’s eldest son, Azam, 23, who lives nearby, said he received a call around 11 pm. When he got to the scene a large crowd had already gathered.
Meanwhile, Betty said Asgar was a patient at the psychiatric hospital and was also a heavy drinker.
According to her, his domestic problems had caused him to turn to alcohol. When he started drinking, she said, it would “get out of control and continue for couple weeks and he would not eat and sleep right.”