By Fareeza Haniff
The owners of a house at lot 39 De Kindren, West Coast Demerara are now counting their losses, after their house caught afire when a car outside the southern wall was torched by unknown individuals.
One view is that the arsonists were apparently trying to ‘spite’ the occupants, identified as Dillion Henry and his wife Michelle.
Kaieteur News understands that the fire started at 1:00 hrs yesterday morning. Owner of the property, Oswald McKend, said that a neighbour saw smoke emanating from the parked car, and raised an alarm that brought McKend’s sister and other residents running out of their homes.
Their initial move was to push the car out of the yard, but the intense blaze put paid to that idea. The car was completely burnt, and the blaze spread to the building, destroying some of the contents of one of the rooms and damaging the ceiling and electrical fittings.
At the time of the fire, the Henrys were not in the house. The homeowners, Oswald and Margaret McKend, reside at La Bonne Intention (LBI), East Coast Demerara.
Margaret told this newspaper that for the past five years her nephew Dillion Henry and his wife have been living in the house.
It was explained to this newspaper that Henry has been at the centre of a fraud currently being investigated by the police. He was said to be part of a group that perpetrated a scam that robbed people of millions of dollars.
The scam invited them to invest money in some ‘export business’ and, depending on the amount of money invested, persons would get back as much as 35 percent on their investment on a monthly basis. Some people invested millions of dollars.
At least 300 people have invested in the business, which was promoted as a source of vegetable exports to Antigua.
Neighbours told this newspaper that for the past few weeks no one has been staying in the house, and many persons have visited the area seeking the whereabouts of Henry.
The man’s aunt said that thus far she has no idea where her nephew is, but knows that his wife is residing with her brother, as she is trying to complete her Master’s degree at the University of Guyana.
She was said to be traumatised in the wake of the arson attempt. Meanwhile, Margaret estimates damage at close to $3 million to her house, which she noted that she worked very hard to build. She said that replacing the ceiling and the electrical fittings would be very costly.
Neighbours do not recall seeing anyone at the house at that hour of the morning, but some recalled being awakened by the smell of something burning and, upon checking, saw smoke coming from the car. An alarm was raised, and the fire service was summoned.
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