Man tries to burn mom, daughter
By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Monday, September 23 2013
click on pic to zoom in
NARROW ESCAPE: The scorched apartment building on Dundonald Street, Port-of-Spain from which 50-year-old Sherma McPherson, and her daughter 20-year-ol...
Two women had to jump almost 20 feet out of a window yesterday morning in Port-of-Spain to escape the burning inferno of their home.
The women, 50-year-old Sherma McPherson, and her daughter 20-year-old Jamila Roberts, were both at their Dundonald Street, Port-of-Spain, home, when at about midnight they were awoken by loud noises and the smell of smoke. When they ran outside, a 23-year-old man who is known to the family was seen in the living room, which was on fire. The man, on seeing the women, reportedly then jumped out of a window and escaped.
Police said the ladies ran to the door of the apartment, and were horrified to discover that it had been sealed shut and would not open.
Panicked, and fearful for their lives, the women also made the decision to jump out of one of the windows to their home.
The apartment where they lived was on the first floor, and said to be about 20 feet above ground. Both women made the jump, however, McPherson was said to have sustained some injuries to both her legs upon landing.
Roberts, police said, had rolled when she landed, and luckily only sustained soft tissue damage to her skin.
The police were notified and a party of officers from the Port-of-Spain Division including ASP Ajith Persad, Inspector Powder, Sgt Chandool, Sgt Branche, and Sgt Khan visited the scene. Appliances from the Wrightson Road Fire Station also responded, and the officials, led by FSO Dasent, were able to contain the blaze within minutes.
The two women were rushed to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where they were both treated.
However, Newsday was informed that McPherson was still in the hospital up to late yesterday, while her daughter was treated and discharged.
The officers conducted inquiries and were told that Roberts had an argument with the 23-year-old man, who was said to be from Plymouth, Tobago, sometime during Saturday afternoon. Following this argument, Roberts returned to her home along Dundonald Street, and informed her mother of the altercation.
The two women subsequently locked their home and retired to bed at about 9pm, but were eventually awoken by the commotion. A witness to the incident told police the 23-year-old man was seen throwing a fluid around the apartment before he lit the blaze. It was said that the young man had gained access to the home by smashing a window on the southern side of the building, following which, it is believed he jammed the doors of the home to prevent any escape.
Following certain leads, the officers then made their way to a home along Third Avenue, Barataria, where they held the 23-year-old man.
The suspect was then taken to the Port-of-Spain CID, where up to late yesterday he was being questioned.
He is expected to be charged sometime today for a variety of offences. Police said while a full estimate of damage had yet to be ascertained, they believed the figure could be in the hundreds of thousands, as the family had “lost everything” in the fire.
The actions of the officers were praised yesterday by senior officials in the Port-of-Spain Division who commended the responding unit for their swift work in capturing the assailant.