A candle is believed to have been the source of the blaze which resulted in Lilga Alleyne-Peters, 59, being burnt to death on Monday in her Spring Garden home. The two-storey, four-bedroom house was almost totally destroyed while two buildings nearby were damaged.
Fire officials told Newsday that they responded to calls shortly around 5am, however when they arrived the two-storey house occupied by Alleyne-Peters was an inferno. They were informed that the woman, who suffered from diabetes, was trapped inside.
Alleyne-Peters' son Lorrick and a neighbour tried to rescue the mother of seven but the fire was too intense. Lorrick suffered burns in his unsuccessful attempt to save his mother. He was taken to the Scarborough General Hospital for treatment.
Fire officials said when they extinguished the blaze, they found remains of a body lying on the top stairs at the entrance of a door. The damage to the house, owned by Dale Phillips, has been estimated at $702,000.
A house on the eastern side, owned by Dawn Skeete, received damage worth $7,000 while another house on the western side, also owned by Dale Phillips, received approximately $500 in minor damage.
Tobago divisional fire officer David Thomas said the blaze began on the northern side of Alleyne-Peters' home and spread southeast. He said investigations have determined that the fire was caused by a candle that was lit and left unattended.
Newsday spoke on Monday with Alleyne-Peters’ daughter Sanella who lives two houses away but slept through the ordeal.
Sanella, who is employed as a security officer, said that she is usually at work before 6am but had a day off on Monday.
“I was sleeping late and is somebody called me on my phone to tell me what was going on,” she said.
Sanella said she he ran outside but was blocked from going close to the house.
“By the time I came out, the fire was already put out and everything... I was sleeping dead cold. When I came out, I couldn’t get closer because they told me don’t go anywhere near there. Her body was still there but I really didn’t see anything... they warned me not to go near there.
“When everybody gone, I walked up there and saw the house,” she said.
Sanella described her mother as a very spiritual person who believed in prayer.
"She was always praying... she was a really nice person. She always praying, she always praying, if you passing in the road you would hear her praying. My brother really tried to save her; he does really be there with her. He does sleep with her cause she has diabetes and her two feet was bad, so we use to take her to clinic to get the foot better.”
Newsday tried to speak to other relatives at the scene earlier but they declined to comment.
"Nothing we can say could bring her back," one said.
This story was originally published with the title "Tobago woman dies in blaze" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.
A 59-year-old of woman was killed in a fire in Spring Garden, Tobago on Monday.
Police identified the victim as Lilga Alleyne-Peters. Her son reportedly sustained burns and was taken to the Scarborough General Hospital for treatment.
Fire officials said that three buildings were damaged in the blaze which was still being doused on Monday morning, This story will be updated when more becomes available from our reporting team on the ground.