Tenant burns house with four children to block police

January 17, 2017
David Patterson examines the burn-out shell of his house, which was set ablaze by his tenant Tuesday morning.

David Patterson has no idea what his next move will be as his house, which he shared with a family of six, was destroyed by a fire which was set by his tenant early Tuesday morning.

The tenant, in seeking to avoid being arrested by the police, lit the house while his helpless wife and four children, including a nine month old, cowered in fear. 

Patterson said he lost everything in the house, including $50,000 which he had saved up from selling bottles, copper wires and doing odd jobs. The money, he was, said, was in the back of a stereo.

While processing a murder scene in Bayshore, a community which overlooks Harbour View in eastern St Andrew, the police noticed a car which was parked nearby. The cops recognised it as one involved in robberies in the Half-Way Tree area of St Andrew.

After conducting checks the police made their way to the house where the driver of the car resided and asked him to make himself available for questioning. The man reportedly resisted. He then set the house on fire.

"Lawd God, Almighty, look at this weh yuh do to me!" Patterson said was his immediate response to the blaze which had taken over his house.

"The police dem deh yah and him light di fire in deh," said Patterson, whose right hand was amputated when he was a child. 

Police had to use a crowbar, old machetes and other implements to rip the door from its hinges in order to rescue the children, the man and his wife from the fire.