Five killed in fire at political activist’s home

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Police say they have no motive as yet for the early morning blaze at the home of an opposition political activist that killed five people including two children.

Police said that the bodies of Ranchan ’Bellies’ Dourgah, 54, his wife, Taramatie Sirju-Dourgah, 56, their grandchildren Nivon Bobby David, 11, and 22-month-old Christianna Dourgah, as well as their son-in-law Titus Joel Gabriel, 27, were discovered after the fire had been extinguished yesterday.

Police said that an investigation had been launched into the cause of the blaze but noted “as it is still very early in the investigation, no motive or cause of the fire has been determined”.

In a statement, they said that investigators are awaiting a report from the Fire Service which will determine the cause of the fire.

Officers of the Special Anti-Crime Unit (SAUTT), have been issuing flyers to residents in the area seeking their assistance.

Tourism Minister Joseph Ross, who is contesting the San Juan-Barataria constituency in the May 24 general election, said that he was “very, very saddened over this incident.

His opponent, Dr Faud Khan, while he did not want to speculate on the cause of the fire, said he hoped it wasn’t political.

Residents report hearing a loud explosion prior to the fire that engulfed the apartment building trapping the five victims. The apartment did not have any fire escape and only one entrance.

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