A SERIAL arsonist is being blamed for an early morning fire that destroyed two homes and left an elderly man in hospital in San Fernando today.
According to reports, Cecil Phillips, 84 and his son Elvis, 55, were asleep in their Rushworth Street home around 4 am when the fire broke out.
Phillips was burnt on his hands while trying to escape, while Elvis was unhurt.
The fire spread next door to the home of Boodnath Maharaj and his family. Maharaj’s 78-year-old mother, Basdeo, his wife Indrani and their two children, David and Sarah were all asleep at the time.
Maharaj evacuated his family through a back door in the house. Newsday has learned that one family member was burnt on the arm, wrist and leg while fleeing.
As neighbours and relatives gathered at the scene today, several people said that one man is responsible for the blaze and had been going around setting fire to wooden buildings on corners in San Fernando.
One man, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said, “Everybody around here know who the fella is, he does band up his face and pelt things in the buildings to set fire…if you go around and check it had about three other fires in the past months around here.”
Fire officers of the Mon Repos Fire Station were able to extinguish the blaze but not before the Phillips’ home was completely gutted.
When asked about reports of an arsonist, a senior fire officer said no cause has been determined yet for the fire.
He said officers of the Fire Prevention Unit are investigating the reports made by residents.