Lighted deya starts $.5M San Juan fire
By Nalinee Seelal Sunday, September 9 2012
A San Juan house valued at $.5 million was yesterday gutted by a fire which was caused by a lighted deya left in a bedroom.
The owner of the house, Rasheed Baksh, a businessman, said yesterday everything in the house was destroyed and he is now staying in one room adjacent to the burnt out house which, he said, was luckily not damaged by the fire.
According to Baksh, his wife, Sushilla, was accustomed to doing her prayers on a Saturday and leaving a lighted deya in a prayer room located in one of the bedrooms of the house. He said shortly after 10 am, fire was seen coming from the bedroom where the deya was left and then the entire house became enveloped in flames.
According to Baksh, by the time fighter officers responded the house was already completely engulfed in flames.
“The entire roof and walls are now threatening to fall and our only option is to have the entire building demolished,” he told Sunday Newsday.
He said the house was not insured and he is unsure what the future holds for him. Baksh pointed out that even his part-time business has not been doing too well and he is concerned about how he will be able to rebuild a house for his wife and two sons, aged 16 and 12.
However, he is happy that no one was injured in the fire.
Yesterday when Sunday Newsday visited the scene, Sushilla was being comforted by female relatives while neighbours and friends gathered to lend support.
Baksh said his whole life has now turned upside down and he never thought that within minutes such destruction could take place.
Officers from the San Juan Fire Station who responded to the fire told Sunday Newsday they will revisit the scene to ascertain the cause and investigations are continuing.