Residents at Bartlett’s Tenantry, Christ Church are outraged that a 44-year-old woman is now fighting for her life at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), after a man doused her with a flammable substance and lit the house she was in on Sunday afternoon.
Members of the close-knit community said they were horrified that the intruder went into the house, entered the bedroom, and choked the victim, before she was able to run into the backyard screaming for help.
She was said to have received burns to about 80 per cent of her body.
The woman was rescued by a group of young men who removed galvanised sheets that enclosed the yard and lifted her to a lawn chair under a nearby breadfruit tree, where she was covered with a sheet.
“He came over the fence and I was sleeping and he strangle me and throw the gas on me and light it. I was screaming . . . Please help me! He tried to kill me, he try to kill me,” the crying woman said in a video taken minutes after the incident circulating on social media.
Residents said that the victim’s brother who is currently in a nursing home owns the wooden structure, which was extensively damaged by the blaze.
When a Barbados TODAY team visited the area today, disturbed residents were still talking about the ordeal which they said rocked the community.
One woman who requested anonymity, said when she heard the screams while cooking, she thought a child was being beaten. But after hearing the loud cry for at least four minutes, she then knew something was wrong.
“I saw flames coming from the back room. My daughter ran out behind me and I ran back and went and called the fire station and I reported that there was a fire at Bartlett’s Tenantry and I called the police station at Worthing and then I called the ambulance.
“Then we see like somebody trying to break a window. So then I tell them try pulling off the galvanise because it would be devastating if they die in the house. But I didn’t know that the old man was recently placed in a home. She only came in from overseas last week to look after him,” she said.
“Eventually they got into the yard, and all of her skin was burned like 80 per cent, except her face. They lifted her right here and we put her on that stretcher there under a tree in the cool. The ambulance came and they asked for another sheet and I give them and they covered her, and then they get buckets of water and throw on her.
“She was screaming all the time. She was saying someone came into the house and then tried to strangle her and she said that while they were trying to strangle her they threw the fluid on her, and it engulfed her and the house in flames,” she added.
The woman, who cried shame on the person responsible for carrying out the horrendous act, said she was now praying and hoping that the victim survives.
“I didn’t like the way she look. The police have a lot of work on their hands because they now have to find out who did it. I hope whoever did it is caught,” she said.
Another resident said she was so troubled by the incident that she has not slept since it happened.
Standing in her patio, the resident said she wished someone could tell her why someone would want to harm “that girl who don’t trouble nobody or get in people way”.
“I feel real sad. She is a nice person in the area. Her brother lives there. The brother get sick, then the mother come in and look after him, and then the mother passed away six months ago. So the girl would come in from overseas to take care of her brother. She would go and come. She did not deserve this.”
Police Public Relations Officer Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss confirmed that police are investigating the matter for which they received a call around 1:55 p.m on Sunday. firstname.lastname@example.org