One of the victims, Junior Jaggernauth, 32, said he was asleep in a bedroom on the upper floor of the building located at Temple Street when at 6.20 am, he heard his brother Joseph Hackett, 43, scream out that the house was on fire.
“I dashed out of my room and when I came out onto the porch, I realised the entire back of the house was ablaze,” said Jaggernauth. He added that he grabbed a jug and attempted to douse the raging flames with water from an aquarium.
“I never saw a fire spread so quickly. It took probably about five minutes for the entire upper floor of the building to be completely burnt. When I tried to wet the rest of the house with a garden hose, this was futile. The flames were too much and windows were shattering above me and I had to run,” he added. He did manage to save two vehicles which were parked near the burning house.
Although firemen from Mon Repos Fire Station responded promptly to the blaze they were not able to salvage anything from the three-bedroom house. A shocked Jaggernauth said he does not know what could have caused the blaze.
Also left homeless are the brothers’ two female relatives Janessa Jaggernauth, 16, a Form Five student of Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive School, who lost all of her school books, and Jilisa Hackett,19, a graduate of Caribbean Union College (CUC). Jaggernauth said the house is owned by his parents Eunice, 62, and Saga Jaggernauth, 67, who both live in Philadelphia in the United States of America. Jaggernauth added that personal items including appliances and furniture were valued at over $300,000.
“We had everything there....two living room sets, double decker beds, you could not even walk upstairs because there was so much furniture,” said Jaggernauth.
He said the fire thwarted his plans to break down and rebuild the upper part of the house and when Newsday visited yesterday both men were seen pulling down the burnt galvanize sheets which became loose from the house and which posed a threat of being blown into nearby houses by high winds. Investigations are continuing.