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Williamsville family homeless after fire

Monday, April 8, 2013

Williamsville mason Bhola Rampersad, his wife and their two young daughters were left wiithout shelter when their home was burnt flat in a mysterious fire on Saturday night. Rampersad, 29, said he does not know how to begin to rebuild as all of the family’s savings went towards building the plyboard house at Duff Road, Hardbargain.



Rampersad, his wife Sabita Charles, 25, and their daughters, Anjali, five, and Ashley, three, had been been living at the house for the past six years. They were spending the weekend at the home of Charles’ grandmother at Boodoo Trace, Penal, when the fire started. “We did not expect this to happen. We were sleeping at my mother’s house when my sister-in-law called and said our house on fire,” said Charles. 


She said they left Penal immediately but by the time they got to Williamsville, the house was completely destroyed. “Right now we have nothing. All my documents, clothes and household valuables burn up,” Charles said. The house, which was valued $35,000, did not have water or electricity. Rampersad’s father, Rampersad Harricharan, who lives next door said the fire was accidental. 


He said Rampersad built his house on rented land contrary to land tenant agreement since the owner had given permission for one house on the property, not two. Harricharan said he will not allow Rampersad to rebuild the house on the land. With no place to go, Rampersad said he desperately needs a place for his family.


“We are a young couple just trying to find our way. I want to have a permanent job and work toward buying a house to put my children so they could have a better life. I want them to be educated and to have good lives,” he said. Anjali is due to start primary school in September while Ashley is enrolled at the Jesus Worship Centre preschool. 


Rampersad appealed for help from Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and Minister of the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh. Ramadharsingh said the family can qualify for an emergency grant, as well as a food card. Chairman of the National Self Help Commission Surujdeo Mangaroo visited the family and promised to assist. Moonilal said he will find out if the family can get emergency housing.


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