'Me coulda dead' - landlord bemoans losses in Bayshore fire

January 18, 2017
David Patterson in what's left of the living room.
This Bible was among the items destroyed by the fire.

A badly burnt copy of The Bible is heaped in a corner of  David Patterson's burnt-out, three-room house in Bayshore, a community which overlooks Harbour View in eastern St Andrew.

It did not escape the wrath of a wicked fire that was intentionally set by an enraged man who the police were seeking to arrest for a series of robberies.

Beds, chests of drawers, pots, pans, clothes -- almost everything inside was lost.

Patterson, who is the landlord, managed to save his cell phone. His bed escaped the fury of the fire but may take days to recover from the water with which it was soaked by firefighters.

Otherwise, everything else in the house, including $50,000 Patterson said he had saved up from selling bottles, copper wires and doing odd jobs, was lost.

The tenant, seeking to avoid arrest, lit the house while his helpless wife and four children cowered in fear.  

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

"Me coulda dead. And if dem neva dig down di place di pickney dem coulda dead, and him coulda dead too. A suicide business dat," Patterson, who is an amputee, said.

The police have not released the name of the tenant, who they said will be charged with attempted murder and robbery.

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