Toddlers’ fiery deaths…
- shack had no door
Relatives of the two toddlers who perished in a tiny Hadfield Street shack on Saturday are baffled as the why the victims were unable to escape, since their small home had no door.
Reports indicate that three¬-year-old Ewan Monroe and one-year-old Isiah Monroe perished after a flambeau in the small structure ignited a mattress made of sponge.
However, their father, Keyron Monroe, told Kaieteur News yesterday that the structure had no door and that they would place a sheet at the entrance at night for privacy.
The shack was located at the back of a large house at Lot Q, Hadfield Street, Wortmanville.
Munroe confirmed that the children were at home alone when they perished and he told Kaieteur News that he had repeatedly cautioned his spouse about leaving the toddlers unsupervised.
According to the grieving father, his reputed wife, Anita Ramdeo, “would usually go and leave them for short periods, sometimes hours.”
The 22-year-old woman, who is pregnant, was reportedly at a shop in Bent Street when the blaze started.
Munroe said that he was told that his spouse was seen at the front of the yard with a flambeau before she left for the shop.
She was detained shortly after the tragedy and was still in custody at the East La Penitence Police Station yesterday.
Irate residents had hurled threats at the young mother after she returned to the scene while the home was ablaze.
Appearing on the verge of tears, Munroe, 23, recalled that he had played with the children on Saturday morning.
Munroe, who does odd jobs but is at present unemployed, said that he then left at around 11:30 hrs to seek employment. He spent the rest of the day at a friend’s house in South Ruimveldt.
He was still there at around 19:19 hrs when he received a disturbing phone call.
“A neighbour called to say that my children were dead,” he said.
He immediately caught a bus but said that he didn’t believe the caller.
“I thought it was a joke, but then I heard the (fire engine) siren through the telephone and then I believed. I cried all the way home.”
On arriving, he ran to the back of the Lot Q, Hadfield Street house where his small home was located, only to be greeted by the sight of his burnt shack and his dead children.
It is reported that Munroe fainted at the scene of the tragedy.
Yesterday, he had still not quite accepted the fact that his children had perished.
“I can’t believe it. Every time I go to the back (where the burnt shack is located) is just memories.”
The young father says that he visited his reputed wife at the East La Penitence Police Station.
“She said that she did not mean to leave the children alone. She said that she was frustrated and scared and that was why she left the scene.”
Munroe’s reputed wife fled after realizing what had taken place but had later returned only to be greeted by angry neighbours. Munroe says that he has been living in the shack since November 2008.
Munroe said that at present, he is staying at an aunt who occupies the house at the front of the shack.
Glenis John, the children’s great aunt, said that she was sitting in her living room during a power outage when she saw “a brightness” in the area near her kitchen.
She realized that her nephew’s shack was on fire. According to the aunt, she ran outside and carried a tub filled with water to the burning shack.
Other residents also attempted to douse the flames and rescue the children.
“Then I heard one of the boys say ‘oh God they done dead,’” she recalled.
According to her, to her knowledge, the children’s mother was outside on the road talking when the incident occurred but she was aware that both her children had died when she fled.
A neighbour said that after the aunt raised an alarm he went to the scene and saw one of the children lying in the house and the other lying outside.
“She would normally go and leave them but somebody said that she took one of them out and drop them on the way and went on and on,” he added.
Meanwhile, Managing Director and Publisher of Kaieteur News Mr. Glenn Lall yesterday expressed concern on seeing the burnt shack in which the family had lived.
“That is extreme poverty. I can’t believe that a family could live under those conditions,” he said.
“These are the kinds of people who need cheap house-lots.”
Mr. Lall has promised to assist the family financially and has invited Mr. Munroe to meet him at Kaieteur News on Tuesday.
In the meantime, he will also assist them with their funeral expenses.
Mr. Lall said he would also appeal to his other business colleagues to assist the family.