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Man allegedly burns house after being rejected

KINGSTON — A family of five in Enfield, St Mary narrowly escaped injury after a man allegedly gassed and lit the house with them inside, after one of the occupants reportedly spurned his advances towards her.

Fifty-two-year-old Monica Bailey-Smith said the 59-year-old accused, who is now in police custody, threatened to harm her estranged husband when she refused to become involved with him.

According to the woman, she is amazed at how the family — which included her 14-year-old niece and 77-year-old mother — managed to escape the inferno. This, as the accused had barred the doors, trapping them inside while he poured five gallons of gas around the perimeter of the five-bedroom dwelling.

“When mi look on the floor, ah so mi see the fire ah run ah come towards mi and all mi coulda say is ‘Jesus, mi dead now’,” said Bailey-Smith. “But den mi nuh know wey me get di strength from fi kick out the only window wey nuh grille, and jump through it,” she recalled.

However, when she attempted to free her family from the quickly engulfing house, Bailey-Smith said she discovered that the doors were barred with pieces of board. Eventually, the family was able to escape through the only door that was not blocked.

When the smoke cleared, Bailey-Smith said a cellular phone and jacket, believed to be those of the accused were discovered outside. Police later apprehended him in a taxi heading out of the parish.

Bailey-Smith said what she found most shocking about the incident is that her family had always been good to the accused.

“Tuesday when mi see him at the court mi heart just raise against him knowing how much we have done for him, and mi remember how him use to say to wi: ‘unu so good to me. Mi nuh what mi going to do fi repay unu’,” Bailey-Smith said.

“Him eat and drink with us and him and mi nephew work together ah bush, and him use to sit and talk to mi mother everyday, an yuh woulda kill off everybody just because you want me?” she asked incredulously.

She explained that the family became friends with the accused some three years ago when he became a customer at the grocery shop she operates in the community. (Observer)

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