Trinidad: House Burns After Lightning Strike

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – A LIGHTNING strike is suspected to have led to a fire that destroyed the home of a family of five in La Breaon Sunday.

Chivon Berment, 41, of Southern Main Road in Chinese Village, broke down in tears as she told the Express that she was watching television with her children when a bolt of lightning flashed and minutes later they were desperately trying to extinguish the flames on a mattress in a bedroom.

The fire broke out at around 12.30 p.m. and within minutes the house was reduced to burning debris, Berment said.

Berment said she was watching television with two of her boys aged four and 12 years old, while the eldest aged 16 years old, was cleaning the refrigerator.

She said the eldest child smelled something burning and when he investigated, he discovered a mattress on fire.

“Rain was falling heavily, with thunder and lightning. Next thing I saw fire. I took pots, basins and bowls of water and throw on the mattress but it was not outing, it spread. The more I throw, it was the more it spread. I took the water hose and hooked it to the pipe in the outside bathroom, but the more I wet, is the more it spread in the board house. I started to panic because I realised I couldn’t do anything to save the house. All I could do again was take my children and run,” cried Berment.

The mother said in the downpour and to escape the flames and smoke, she and her children ran towards the neighbours and sought shelter.

She wept as she said they could save nothing from their house which she, her husband, Kevon George, and their three children had lived in the two-bedroom wooden structure for almost three years.

“I feel it was the lightning caused this. I do not know what it strike, but just after the lightning, we saw fire,” Berment said.

Berment is a housewife and George is a vendor who sells honey and mangoes.

Former local Government councillor for Othaheite/Rousillac Javed Mohammed visited with the family.

Mohammed told the Express that the disaster management unit was activated through the chairman of the Siparia Regional Corporation Denish Sankersingh.

Fire officers also responded to the scene.

Berment and her family spent last night in her family’s church, the Cap-de-Ville Worship Centre.

Anyone willing to assist the family can contact George at 372-7085.