[UPDATED] Three siblings die in Maraval blaze, would-be rescuers injured

Three children perished in a house fire at No 1 Rookery Nook in Maraval. - SUREASH CHOLAI
Three children perished in a house fire at No 1 Rookery Nook in Maraval. - SUREASH CHOLAI

The quiet of Rookery Nook, Maraval, went up in flames early on Monday when three children from one family died in a house fire.

Newsday arrived as fire officers extinguished the last of the blaze and emergency medical workers treated burn victims.

Speaking with reporters, Chief Fire Officer Arnold Bristo said when fire officers arrived after getting a report of a fire at around 7.36 am, they saw the building was already well ablaze.

Three siblings, Ezekiel, 17, Faith, six and Kaden Burke, three, died as they were trapped in the house.

According to the official police report the parents of the children Troy Burke and mother Genevieve Rodriguez were at work at the time of the fire.

Newsday understands the elder Burke was treated for injuries he received when he tried to rescue the children.

Two children ages 13 and 15 years old survived the fire.

Several videos shared on social media showed neighbours and passers-by rushing to the burning house to try and assist the children.

Newsday understands among those who tried to help were a doubles vendor and an assistant superintendent of police from the Western Division, who were injured in the attempt. A fire officer was also injured.

The house was destroyed but no other buildings in the area were affected.

Several relatives were visibly shaken by the deaths and consoled each other as they were questioned by fire officers and police.

A grieving relative of the three children who perished in a house fire at No 1 Rookery Nook in Maraval. - SUREASH CHOLAI

Residents from the area also gathered in the carpark of KFC on Saddle Road as fire officers worked to put out the fire.

Bristo offered condolences to the Burke family for their losses. He urged the public to take the necessary safety precautions to avoid house fires and ensure there was a clear emergency exit in the event of a fire.

"Simple things like a smoke detector can help. Sometimes we take too much time to secure ourselves, but we don't take enough time to think about how to get out of a house safely if it's on fire.

"Keeping a (fire) extinguisher in your house is also important."

Newsday spoke to Port of Spain North/St Ann's West MP Stuart Young, who said the deaths were disturbing and promised to reach out to the family.

"When I received the news of this tragic and awful loss of life, it disturbed me to my core," he said. "I would like to personally extend my heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the parents and family of the young children that we lost. I pray for the parents and family.

"I have been in contact with the councillor, who gave me a full briefing, and I shall reach out to the family."

Newsday also spoke to councillor for St James East Jameel Bisnath, who said, "The MP and myself are prepared to assist the family. I have already reached out to the relatives, I spoke to the mother's brother.

"As a father myself, it's heartbreaking to know people would have lost three of their children in one incident.

"I want to thank all those who assisted. As a Trinidadian I would have done the same, and I hope those who assisted in the rescue, their injuries are not life-threatening and I do wish them a speedy recovery."

Fire investigators are continuing enquiries into the source and cause of the fire.

Technicians from the TT Electricity Commission (T&TEC) also visited after the blaze to disconnect electricity lines to the house which might have been damaged by the fire.

This story has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

The quiet of Rookery Nook, Maraval, went up in flames early on Monday when three children from one family died in a house fire.

Newsday arrived as fire officers extinguished the last of the blaze and emergency medical workers treated burn victims.

Speaking with reporters, Chief Fire Officer Arnold Bristo said when fire officers arrived after getting a report of a fire at around 7.36 am, they saw the building was already well ablaze.

Three siblings, Ezekiel, 17, Faith, six and Kaden Burke, three, died as they were trapped in the house.

He said the children's father, Troy Burke, survived, but was injured when he tried to rescue the children.

Their mother Genevieve Rodriguez escaped the fire.

Several videos shared on social media showed neighbours and passers-by rushing to the burning house to try and assist the children.

Firemen and police on the scene where three children perished in a house fire on Monday morning. Photo by Sureash Cholai

Newsday understands among those who tried to help were a doubles vendor and an assistant superintendent of police from the Western Division, who were injured in the attempt. A fire officer was also injured.

The house was destroyed but no other buildings in the area were affected.

Several relatives were visibly shaken by the deaths and consoled each other as they were questioned by fire officers and police.

Photo by Sureash Cholai

Residents from the area also gathered in the carpark of KFC on Saddle Road as fire officers work to put out the fire.

Bristo offered condolences to the Burke family for their losses. He urged the public to take the necessary safety precautions to avoid house fires and ensur there was a clear emergency exit in the event of a fire.

"Simple things like a smoke detector can help. Sometimes we take too much time to secure ourselves, but we don't take enough time to think about how to get out of a house safely if it's on fire.

"Keeping a (fire) extinguisher in your house is also important."

Newsday spoke to Port of Spain North/St Ann's West MP Stuart Young, who said the deaths were disturbing and promised to reach out to the family.

"When I received the news of this tragic and awful loss of life, it disturbed me to my core," he said. "I would like to personally extend my heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the parents and family of the young children that we lost. I pray for the parents and family.

In anguish: Relatives of the three children who perished in a house fire at No 1 Rookery Nook in Maraval comfort each other. Photo by Sureash Cholai

"I have been in contact with the councillor, who gave me a full briefing, and I shall reach out to the family."

Newsday also spoke to councillor for St James East Jameel Bisnath, who said, "The MP and myself are prepared to assist the family. I have already reached out to the relatives, I spoke to the mother's brother.

"As a father myself, it's heartbreaking to know people would have lost three of their children in one incident.

"I want to thank all those who assisted. As a Trinidadian I would have done the same, and I hope those who assisted in the rescue, their injuries are not life-threatening and I do wish them a speedy recovery."

Fire investigators are continuing enquiries into the source and cause of the fire.

Technicians from the TT Electricity Commission (T&TEC) also visited after the blaze to disconnect electricity lines to the house which might have been damaged by the fire.

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"[UPDATED] Three siblings die in Maraval blaze, would-be rescuers injured"

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