Man dies in fire, lighted cigarette suspected cause


A lighted cigarette is suspected to have caused the fiery death of Lawrence Ganga and destruction of his family’s home at Snail Trace, Scott Road, Penal.

Ganga, 39, a labourer who was unmarried and had no children, was burnt beyond recognition, as the wooden structure collapsed before help could come on Thursday night.

One of his 13 brothers, Joseph Ganga, who lived close by, said Ganga and his father Chandra Bhoje Ganga lived in the house. He said their mother died some time before.

He said Chandra Bhoje managed to escape. He believe fatigue combined with intoxication prevented Lawrence from saving himself.

After the fire, Chandra Bhoje was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital on Saturday with an elevated blood pressure level and was still there up until Sunday.

Joseph is asking for help to rebuild the house as his elderly father is now homeless.

He said around 9.15 pm he heard his 70-year-old father shouting, crying and calling out. He said the frantic desperation in his father’s voice woke him up from sleep and he rushed outside.

Joseph asked his father what was wrong, “and Papi said fire. When I looked at the house it was in flames.

He said he could not reach his brother who may have been asleep in his bedroom.

Joseph, whose home was also threatened, said he took his car and parked it by his neighbor as they called for help.

By the time the fire services got to the home, the entire structure was gutted and Ganga’s body was found among the ruins.

Joseph said he was the last person to speak to his brother who came to his home as he normally does, to play with Joseph’s 13-month-old daughter Sabrina Ganga.

“The last words I heard from him was he telling my daughter, “Sweetie I going. I feel I will wake up late in the morning, but I would come and play with you.”

Ganga’s elder brother Sundar, 48, cried as he recalled his helplessness in not being able to save his brother.

“I see with my own naked eyes, his whole room red with fire and I couldn’t save him.”

Estimated loss has been put at approximately $100,000.

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