Police and fire officials are investigating the cause of a house fire in Bridgetown that claimed the life of 44-year-old Shahid Patel Thursday afternoon.
The fire, which occurred just after 1 p.m. in Hunte Street, The City, also damaged several other houses and caused classes at the Wesley Hall Junior School in nearby King Street to be dismissed early.
The house Patel lived in was completely destroyed, the unoccupied house immediately next to his was extensively damaged, and three others were slightly damaged.
“We have not ascertained where the other people are as yet, but someone is accounted for in the house that was completely destroyed,” Divisional Officer with the Barbados Fire Service Mervin Mayers told the media on the scene.
Patel, a divorcee said to have a history of mental health issues, was home alone when the fire broke out. Some of his relatives later arrived on the scene.
A resident, Leroy Trotman, said neighbours had panicked when the fire began, because of the closeness of the houses, but then some people sprang into action and hooked up hoses to their pipes to contain the inferno until the Fire Service arrived.
“I want to thank the Fire Service for doing a good job in controlling the blaze,” he said.
Three fire tenders – two from the Bridgetown Fire Station and one from Worthing – with three commanding officers and ten officers responded to the fire.