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ARSON claims life of 82-year-old woman

By Alexis R. Milan
Staff Reporter
An 82-year-old woman died as a result of arson in her home at the corners of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets early Thursday morning.

Erceline Gabourel was asleep in her bedroom in the upper flat of the two-story wooden structure when the fire started.
Orin Smith, station officer at the National Fire Service, told the media that An 82-year-old woman died as a result of arson in her home at the corners of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets early Thursday morning.

Erceline Gabourel was asleep in her bedroom in the upper flat of the two-story wooden structure when the fire started.
Orin Smith, station officer at the National Fire Service, told the media that the Fire Department got the call about the fire at approximately 3:44 a.m. and arrived about three-minutes later. According to Smith the fire was contained by 4:00 a.m.

Smith confirmed that after conducting investigations they have been able to determine arson as the cause of the fire as well as the origin at the southwest corner of the house.

The origin was at the base of a stairway near a window that was boarded up. According to Smith, the lower flat did not contain any storage or combustible materials that could have been responsible for the inferno.
He explained that Gabourel’s body was found in her bedroom.

She may have died as a result of smoke inhalation as most fire victims do, Smith suggested.
Dennis Gabourel, the son of the deceased, said that he believed someone intentionally set fire to his mother’s house.
Gabourel explained that his mother didn’t have electricity nor did she keep candles in her house.
Gabourel said that he had just returned to his home on Antelope Street extension when he got a phone call at around 4:00 a.m. and was informed that his mother’s house was destroyed in the fire.

According to neighbours, Erceline Gabourel yelled for help but the security guards right across the street at JL’s did nothing to assist her.

Smith said that in his opinion the only way Mrs. Gabourel would have been able to make it out of the house was to jump.
Smith said that the fire department was finished with their investigation and would be forwarding their report to the Police Department for further investigation into the apparent murder.

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