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Girl, 8, aunt, 40, perish in fire

LAUREL V WILLIAMS Saturday, August 12 2017

TWO weeks after a Moruga family hosted a thanksgiving service to celebrate the life of eight-year-old Alliyah Primus, she and her aunt Nolene ‘Neisha’ Gopaul, 40, perished yesterday in a fire which destroyed their home in Moruga which also left 13 people homeless.

The cause of the blaze which gutted the property in an area known as Dougla City in Fifth Company, Moruga was not yet known up to press time. Of the 13 homeless, five are children.

According to reports, at about 2 am, Alliyah’s relatives were awakened by crackling sounds and realised their house was on fire. After the occupants ran out of the burning house, a head count was done and both Alliyah and Gopaul, who slept together, were unaccounted for.

By this time, the entire house was on fire.

Units from the Princes Town Fire Station responded and after the flames were doused, firemen came across the burnt, skeletal remains of the child and her aunt near the kitchen area on the top floor. Alliyah’s cousin Lexi Butcher, eight, suffered burns to her right arm while her mother Natalie Gopaul suffered cuts. No one else was injured.

Alliyah was expected to enter Standard Three at the Fifth Company Baptist Primary School in the new term. Her mother, Nicole Gopaul, 32, was not at home when the fire broke out.

Yesterday, on arriving at the scene Gopaul was inconsolable and had to be carried away. Nicole, a receptionist at a gym, had spent the night at a house in South Oropouche.

Alliyah’s aunt and Nicole’s twin sister Nikeisha Mitchell, recalled that her niece had breathing problems as a newborn and was on life support for three days.

Only recently, Alliyah kept asking her mother to keep a thanksgiving in celebration of life. “She kept asking her mother to keep a thanksgiving for her. Two weeks, we had the thanksgiving for Alliyah who was her mother’s only child,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said her sister and Alliyah shared a close bond, hence the reason why they shared the same bed.

“Neisha did housekeeping and masonry with a construction firm. She was supposed to go to Las Cuevas beach on Sunday,” Mitchell said.

Patriarch of the family Lincoln Elvin, 70, a father of 11 and grandfather of 14, said he was awakened by the crackling sounds of fire and went outside.

He immediately alerted his wife Sumintra Elvin-Gopaul and other relatives.

“I asked who was missing and they said Alliyah and Neisha.

We called out to them but heard nothing. There was no bawling. The fire people found them later,” Elvin said. Investigations are ongoing.



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