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Death Of Family “Suspicious”–Says Neighbours

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Authorities are trying to piece together the circumstances surrounding an early morning fire that claimed the lives of six people including a toddler yesterday as speculation from relatives and neighbours over the incident intensifies.

The fire started just before 2:00 a.m. at the family’s home off Homestead Avenue.

“At this stage we are not in a position to say until such time as we carry out further investigations and once those persons from the morgue assist us we would be in a better position to say a little more, but for right now we are confirming that six people perished in this fire Monday morning,” Superintendent Walter Evans, head of fire services, told the Bahama Journal.

The occupants of the single-story stone structure were reportedly caught off guard by the fire and trapped inside the house.

Security bars in the windows made an escape almost impossible.

Relatives and neighbours remained at the scene Monday, many of them still grappling with the news of this tragedy.

The incident is seen as suspicious by many neighbours and relatives who told the Journal that the occupants were trapped inside the building because the doors had been nailed shut.

Fuelling their suspicions is the fact that the occupants all appeared to be gathered in a single room.

“My sister’s children are gone, oh my God my sister children are all gone, “Marie Winters-Lloyd, the aunt of the victims cried out.

“I don’t know what happened and this is a very difficult task for me. I couldn’t get here any sooner because I am having transportation problems, but now that I am seeing this I just don’t know what to say.”

National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage and senior police officials also visited the scene of Monday’s blaze.

Earlier, Dr. Nottage opened the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Fire Safety Week where he said immediate steps must be taken to ensure that tragedies like this do not happen again.

“There are some things that I think contribute to incidents like this and I think we see some evidence of it here,” Dr. Nottage said.

“I think the fire chief is very likely to give some advice to the people around here about how they can prevent circumstances like this from recurring. And it’s not only here – all through this area – the Grove, Englerston, Bains and Grant’s Town, there are people who live in proximity to each other as we do here so I think Superintendent Evans will be able to spread the word.”

There is a lot of speculation over the incident with many people in the area suggesting that this was an act of arson; however, Superintendent Evans urged the public to allow authorities to carry out their investigations.

“At this stage the investigation is ongoing and it is too early for us to say conclusively what the cause is, but we are looking at several factors and I believe pretty much in a short while we will be able to wrap up the investigation…probably in another day or sooner,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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