TRINIDAD – Baby, toddler burnt in arson attack
PORT OF SPAIN –– A nine-month-old baby girl is in critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in hospital after she and her four-year-old brother received third degree burns when their home was gutted by fire on Wednesday.
Kyle, nine months old, and brother, Keimel Jacob, 4, were at their home at S.T.O.L Road, Palo Seco, around 3 p.m. on Wednesday when the fire broke out.
Their father, Keino Jacob, 26, a rigman, told the T&T Guardian the children were taking an evening nap when the incident occurred. His wooden three-room house was completely destroyed by the fire.
“Their mother bathe them and put them to sleep and I walk across by my father, about 20 feet away, and was giving him a hand to build a dog kennel,” Keino said.
“The mother came by me and told me to keep an ear out for Kyle that she also was going to bathe.”
Jacob said minutes after that his father Peter told him he had heard Kyle screaming.
“I told him that wasn’t her but when I looked across at the house, I saw smoke coming out of the window. I run straight to the house and went inside.”
What greeted him was every parent’s worst nightmare.
“Keimel was screaming ‘Daddy, daddy!’ and both his legs were on fire. He was still wrapped up in the sheet he had covered with to sleep and it was blazing with fire. He had run out of the bedroom and he was on fire.”
Keino grabbed his son and ran outside, then went back into the burning house for Kyle.
“By the time I carry him outside and run back inside, the whole house was on fire. Kyle clothes was burning on her body and I snatch her up and run out.”
Overcome with emotion during the interview, Keino claims the fire was deliberately set.
“I saw the person who did it running away from the house but I went straight in for my children . . . and after when the police came they said to leave it in their hands . . . but I know who did it.
“There was a falling out a few weeks ago and he had threatened me but I never thought he would do something like this. Look at what happen to my children and I lost everything I ever worked for.”
The children’s mother, Malicha Thomas, spent the day Thursday at the San Fernando General Hospital where her children are warded but was too distressed to speak to the media.
Kyle, who is also suffering from smoke inhalation, remains warded in critical condition, while Keimel is warded in the Paediatric Unit in a stable condition.
“The doctors say she inhaled too much smoke and her lungs get damaged,” Keino said.
Santa Flora Police said Thursday that they had not yet arrested anyone for the incident.