ST JOHN’S – Firemen are still baffled as to the cause of the country’s latest fire which completely destroyed the home of a Clare Hall woman on Monday morning and left the homeowner in tears.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Elvis Weaver, who heads the Fire Department, the distraught woman Icilma Potter, could not offer any theory as to why the blaze had engulfed her place of abode.
“Miss Potter reported that she was cleaning, then left the house and when she returned, the house was on fire. She gave no reason as to why the house would have caught fire. The cause is still being looked at,” Weaver said.
He added that, “the house was not hooked up to electricity”, which might suggest that the cause was not electrical as has been the case in many other recent house fires. Weaver also confirmed that the Clare Hall woman’s home “had no insurance”.
Potter’s home was situated “to the east of Antigua Motors”, according to Weaver, and she appeared to live alone.
The Fire Department said it received a telephone report of the blaze around 8 a.m. And although no one was inside the 17 x 12 metre home when the fire started, the ACP said “a neighbouring house owned by a Kenny Thomas was slightly charred”.
“The number of house fires and building fires is alarming. On September 15 we had a fire at an abandoned building on ‘Back’ Street; we had a house fire in Potters on September 16,” the fire chief said.
On September 17 in Gray’s Farm, the home of 67-year-old Conroy Joseph was ravaged by flames leaving him and two others to look for other means of accommodation.
The ever increasing number of fires has prompted the government of Antigua & Barbuda to increase the amount of monetary aid it makes available to victims of fires. Under a new policy, up to EC $5,000 per person in a household can be allotted under the direction of the Minister of Social Transformation.