Vistabella fire destroys two houses, leaves family homeless

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Fire victims Gladys Cupid-Manick and husband Adesh Manick look at a wedding photo they were able to save from their North Road, Vistabella home after it was destroyed by fire. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

A fire in Vistabella on Thursday night destroyed two houses and left a family of four homeless.

Gladys Cupid-Manick, 48, her husband Adesh Keith Manick, 53, and their two daughters, 26 and four, are hoping the authorities will step in and help with emergency housing.

The fire started at around 11 pm at an abandoned house at North Road and quickly spread next door to the Manicks’ rental home.

“Right now, we are depending on friends to take us, and we cannot go with all our items. Our neighbours also volunteered for us to stay by them for a while,” Cupid-Manick said on Friday. “We thank God for having good neighbours. In a split second, they were making decisions for us to stay by them.

“I dreamed that a house was on fire only a few days ago. But I never expected this to happen to us.”

A fire at an abandoned house on North Road, Vistabella, set blaze to the house next door leaving a family of four homeless. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

Cupid-Manick, a housewife, said the family was asleep, and she was awakened when a neighbour called to alert her. She realised the house was on fire and woke the others, telling her adult daughter to grab the family’s emergency bag. The family often spoke of an evacuation plan for emergencies, and the bag contained important documents.

“My husband took out the gas tank, and we ran out. The neighbours came, and fire officers came within a few minutes and contained the blaze. The officers even stayed a while to see if the fire would have reignited,” Cupid-Manick said.

Her husband is a store clerk dispatcher at Jusamco, and her elder daughter an administrative clerk with another company.

The ordeal left the family, especially her four-year-old daughter, tramautised.

“She calmed down during the night. We took her by some friends where she can be comfortable and relaxed,” her mother said.

“The kitchen, living room, and the back of the house were completely burnt. The bedrooms are water soaked.”

Although part of the house was still standing, it is inhabitable. Without the stove, fridge, and groceries that were destroyed, they cannot cook. Cupid-Manick repeatedly thanked kind-hearted neighbours for their help.

Pastor Mario Ali Bocas and assistant pastor Sanjay Samlal of the International Pentecostal Assembly, together with church members, helped to salvage belongings from the ruins on Friday.

On behalf of the family, Cupid-Manick also thanked the San Fernando City Corporation, saying members visited and dropped off mattresses, pillows, and water. They also promised to help in whatever way they could.

The family has been living at the house for the past three years. Cupid-Manick said people often jumped over the fence and stayed in the now-destroyed abandoned house next door.

There were no reports of injuries, and the fire’s cause is unknown. Investigations are ongoing.