Teacher kills self in blaze
By Latoya Giles
A 29-year-old teacher turned herself into a human torch at around 11:00 hrs yesterday, reportedly going berserk even as relatives were trying to solve a dispute between the victim and her husband.
Rhondina Adams, 29, locked herself in the family’s Lot TT Bent Street home and set herself alight.
Adams’ charred remains were found in her bedroom near a window after residents extinguished the blaze and prevented it from destroying the entire property.
Relatives told Kaieteur News that the Mahdia Primary School teacher and her spouse, Egbert Adams, had been having domestic problems for several months.
The couple has two children, 9 years and 11 months.
The relatives blamed Adams for the problems in the relationship, describing her as a “hasty” individual who rarely took advice.
The couple had been living apart for seven months after Adams walked out of the family’s home.
Another relative said that the woman had threatened to kill herself before, but no one had taken her seriously.
Egbert Adams, the husband, told Kaieteur News that although he and his wife would have arguments, they would always try to reconcile because of the children.
But he said that things got worse.
On February 14, he returned from work to discover that his wife was not there.
Mr. Adams said his wife returned the next morning with the couple’s children, and informed him that she wanted out of the marriage.
The man said his wife packed up all of her clothing and a few household articles and left.
“She had a car waiting for her….she just packed up without saying anything…just that she was leaving.”
He said he quickly called her family who live a stone’s throw away from the couple.
“I called the landlady who is her aunt….then I called my parents and told them what she was doing”.
After that incident, Mr. Adams said his wife transferred his son from a city primary school to the Mahdia Primary without informing him.
“The school called me and said he was transferred…I became enraged at her, so I called”.
Although she moved out of the matrimonial home, Adams said he and his wife would communicate via telephone.
After months of living apart, Adams said his wife called him last week Monday and said that she wanted to come back home.
“Honestly I was shocked when she called and said she was coming home back,” Adams said.
But the man said he was still having doubts about what his wife said. “She just called out of the blue and said she was coming home…..and I should tell the woman I have to move her things out. So I told her I can’t do that since I don’t know if you joking”.
On Friday night, he came home to find that his wife had broken the locks to the house and destroyed a number of articles.
“I come home and meet de carpet, the blinds and everything I bought were destroyed and packed in some black bags”.
The man said he eventually managed to calm his wife down, and left for the Alberttown Police Station.
However, ranks there informed him that they were not capable to deal with the situation.
“They told me they gun give me some paper to go to the Ministry to get help…” Adams explained.
Not wanting to make matters worse, the husband said that he stayed away from home that night.
A cousin had reportedly seen the woman sitting on the steps at around 04:00hrs.
The cousin, according to a relative, chided the teacher about her behaviour, but the woman became annoyed and stormed away.
Yesterday, Mr. Adams’ mother-in-law and other relatives called a family discussion to bring the couple back together.
The discussion was held at the relatives’ home, which is close to the house where Mr. Adams and his wife resided.
The man said in the middle of the discussion, he told his wife’s relatives that he was having second thoughts about taking her back.
“I was telling them that I was finding it hard to take her back…..because I not sure what she gon do,” the man said.
Minutes later, Adams’ wife bolted from the family discussion screaming.
The woman, according to relatives ran to her house and locked herself inside.
Seconds later, neigbhours and relatives heard screams and saw flames emanating from the house.
Men from the neighbourhood quickly formed a bucket brigade and doused the flames before the fire service arrived.
But by then, Rhondina Adams was already dead.
“You would always hear about other people doing things…but when it happens under your nose it hits home hard”, said one relative.
The relative said that they had offered the woman counseling both from a
private institution and through the Ministry of Human Services.
However, on all three occasions the woman refused.
“She tear up the letter that the Ministry sent to her…they had to speak to her via telephone and she admitted to them that she tore the letter up”.
The victim’s husband vented his frustrations at the alleged refusal of the police to assist him on Friday.
He believes that his wife might still have been alive if the ranks had visited his home on Friday after he filed a report about her behaviour.
The victim’s relatives expressed similar sentiments about the lawmen.
“They only look at domestic violence one way….but men are suffering too” one relative said.