A fire suspected to have been started by a five-year-old boy, Isaiah Mahadeo, playing with matches, completely destroyed a Covent Garden building leaving six homeless.
The fire which started mid-afternoon yesterday could have been worse had it not been for the valiant effort of one young man who soaked his skin with water, braved the heat and went into the already engulfed house to rescue the little boy.
Mansook, the 65-year-old owner of the property said that he was not at home when the fire struck and was only informed by a resident as he was out fetching some wood.
He said that he had left the boy’s younger sister, Sarah, sleeping in a hammock and went out to look for wood when he got the news.
Rajkumarie, the grandmother, said that at the time of the fire she was at a friend and she thought that Mansook was with the children.
Rajkumarie said that she too was unaware of the blaze until she got the news and rushed only to see that all has been lost.
However it was during the question by police ranks a number of different versions of who was where and doing what at the time started to unfold.
At one point the duo started to contradict each other as to if the children were in the house or outside or playing or sleeping.
It was when Isaiah was questioned that word of matches started to emerge. He insisted that his sister was not involved in the handling of the match.
He said that it caught afire and it fell but the clearly distressed child kept changing his story about what the matches fell on.
The parents appeared intoxicated at the time and while Rakjkumarie insisted that she does not drink, a small bottle of alcohol was visible despite an attempt to hide it.
The Fire Service was hampered in the execution of its duties given the restricted access to the burning building. Despite a bucket brigade the building was completely destroyed.
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