By Alexis R. Milan
A massive fire at the corner of Allemby Street and Collet Canal around 4:30 Wednesday afternoon engulfed the upper flat of a two-story house and has left a family of five displaced.
According to the son of fire victim 54-year-old Beverly Herrera, his mother was at home at the time the fire was started though they were not sure the exact cause of the blaze. The family suspects that it may have been an accident caused by a resident of the house.
Herrera lived in the upper flat with a sister and two nephews. The lower-flat, was occupied by Chinese businessman Jian Hong Yan and received extensive water damage.
The upper flat was completely destroyed and nothing was saved. Herrera looked on being comforted by neighbors as fire destroyed her home.
The fire department showed up several minutes after the fire had started but residents who witnessed the incident said that after arriving on the scene it took the fire department about ten minutes before they began to control the blaze.
The trucks didn’t have any water and it had to be sourced from the canal, directly in front of the house witnesses said.
Herrera’s son, who wished to remain unnamed, also claimed to have been roughed up by officials on the scene. He was not allowed near the burning home and was restrained from getting closer to the scene.
The fire department is still investigating the incident and will brief the public on the cause of the fire at the conclusion of their investigation.