RELATIVES are in mourning over the loss of a 45-year-old man who died in his home as it burned down on Thursday afternoon.
Dead is Anthony Gabriel Rivas of Christina Gardens, Arima.
When Newsday visited the scene yesterday morning, Joyce Rivas, mother of the deceased was sitting in the front yard facing the burnt house.
She said, "I've never seen anything like this. Everything was lost. Although the fire service was prompt, it was too late for him (Anthony).
"The fire service made every human effort to save my son but they couldn't."
She said Rivas suffered from clinical and mild depression that was controlled and he had a nurse that visited monthly.
"He had a bad habit of smoking, so it could be that's what started the fire. But I don't know for sure."
Rivas' father, Bruno Rivas, said, "When I came home and saw what was happening, I ran inside to see if I could help but the smoke was extremely thick.
"I didn't know where he was in the house and the neighbours were trying to convince me not to go in but I tried and turned back."
According to Bruno, neighbours heard his son screaming in pain and anguish as the blaze tore through the house and eventually consumed him. Bruno is a TT Manufacturers Association (TTMA) past president.
Residents of Christina Gardens came in for high praises from the Rivas family for co-ordinating efforts to extinguish the blaze. Neighbouring houses didn't suffer any damage other than a temporary loss of utilities.
Rivas lived in the house with his father, mother and her bed-ridden sister. He was home alone when the fire started. The fire was eventually extinguished by fire services just after 9 pm and Rivas' body was removed. It was burnt beyond recognition.