Fire officers are investigating whether a child started a fire which left his family and over two dozen of his Sea Lots neighbours homeless Friday.
While fire investigators had not determined the cause of the fire up to late Friday, residents suggested it was caused by a child who was playing with matches while home alone.
"I just heard that it was a little child was playing with fire but I cannot assume or accuse the little child because I was not here," Alicia Clarke said.
Clarke, who was not at home when the fire started around midday, said her husband was only able to save the television and a few appliances before the fire spread to her house.
"We were not able to save everything we had but at least no one was injured," Clarke said.
Clarke's next door neighbour Natasha Manswell and her six children were also left homeless by the fire. Manswell said she too was in downtown Port-of-Spain when she was informed her house was on fire.
Manswell could barely speak as she and her husband gazed at the smouldering ruins of their home.
Some of their neighbours were also not pleased with the fire officers' response and accused them of not having enough water to quickly extinguish the inferno.
"Allyuh wicked. If this was a rich area that fire would have done be out," one man was heard screaming at the fire officers.
The man claimed a similar situation occurred during a fire in the community in October last year.
The officers ignored the insults as they continued to navigate through the densely populated community to douse the remaining embers of the fire to prevent them from spreading to other structures. They were assisted by some brave residents who entered into the properties to remove cooking gas tanks.
But some residents whose homes were almost completely destroyed sought to defend the officers.
"They should not try to bring down the fire officers and make it seem like they are the ones who start the fire. If they did not come and we met our places burnt down then we could complain," Clarke said.
In a brief interview, divisional fire officer for the Northern Division, John Harper, explained that contrary to what some residents said there was a sufficient supply of water. Harper said fire tenders from the Wrightson Road Fire Station responded first and were assisted by colleagues from other areas and water trucks from the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA).
"The guys did a pretty good job containing the fire because it could be worse because of the adjoining buildings," Harper said, as he also said the houses that suffered the most damage were built with easily combustible materials.
Members of the public who wish to provide assistance to the families affected by the fire can contact Clarke at 386-7713 or Manswell at 332-4524.