Trinidad: Grandmother dies in Boxing Day fire

Tar­ra Seer­am, 63

Christ­mas end­ed trag­i­cal­ly for the fam­i­ly of Tar­ra Seer­am, 63, af­ter the ail­ing woman died in a fire that de­stroyed her two-bed­room home in Cara­pichaima.

Pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion by fire pre­ven­tion of­fi­cers in­di­cates that an elec­tri­cal is­sue may have caused the fire.

Yes­ter­day, as rel­a­tives gath­ered un­der s shed near Seer­am’s home on Jag­bir Street Ex­ten­sion in Ko­rea Vil­lage, they ex­pressed shock and deep grief over the Christ­mas Day tragedy. They said they did not know she was at home and didn’t ex­pect to find her re­mains in the ash­es.

Eye­wit­ness­es said the fire start­ed short­ly af­ter 4 am. Fire of­fi­cers from Ch­agua­nas were quick­ly on the scene and were able to con­tain and ex­tin­guish the fire.

One of Seer­am’s rel­a­tives who took a torch­light and went in­to the house to search through the ru­ins af­ter the fire was put out made the hor­rif­ic dis­cov­ery of her re­mains in the floor of her bed­room next to her bed.

Seer­am’s son, Bi­jue Seer­am, 36, who es­caped from the burn­ing house, said he was asleep and was awak­ened by smoke.

“I felt like I couldn’t breathe and the smoke so strong that when I wake up it was re­al thick smoke. I watch in the room for mum­my but didn’t see her, so I run out through the back of the house through a door.

“I re­al­ly didn’t think that my moth­er was home oth­er­wise I would have maybe looked more or some­thing,” he said.

One of Seer­am’s daugh­ter, Latch­min, 38, said she and her moth­er went to the T&TEC of­fice in Ch­agua­nas in No­vem­ber and re­port­ed that the con­nec­tion from the light pole to the house broke off and was lean­ing in­to the house with wires ex­posed.

“We told them how it was and how the wires buss up and they said they were com­ing to see it and fix it but up to now they nev­er reach and my moth­er come and burn up to ash­es all she hands, foot every­thing burn to ash­es,” Latch­min said.

“So far we are be­ing told that it could re­al­ly be elec­tri­cal but we will have to wait for more to see what is the fi­nal with the in­ves­ti­ga­tions but if T&TEC peo­ple did come and see about it like they said they would have my moth­er would have maybe been alive to­day.”

Latch­min said her moth­er has been de­pressed since her hus­band, Sinanan Seer­am , died away four years ago af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with a brain tu­mour.

She said her moth­er, who suf­fers from po­lio, spent most days at her house and was there up to Christ­mas Day.

“Af­ter she left by me in the night at about 9 pm she was seen go­ing to an­oth­er house by one of her friends low­er down the street that’s why we thought that she was not home at the time of the fire,” she said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing.

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