Rookery Nook

Scene of fire: Two men leave the gutted house at Rookery Nook, Maraval, yesterday after inspecting the scene of Monday’s tragic fire in which three siblings lost their lives. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

CHIEF Fire Officer Arnold Bristo has confirmed that a full report on the cause of the deadly fire that claimed the lives of three children at Rookery Nook, Maraval, last will be completed later this week.

Speaking to the Express yesterday via telephone, Bristo said the investigation is in its late stages and he could not divulge the contents just yet.

“The report is expected to be completed this week and when I receive the report from the investigators, I will issue a media release on the matter,” Bristo said.

Ezekiel, 17, Faith, six, and Kayden Burke, three, died trying to escape from their house after the fire broke out around 7.30 a.m. last Monday.

Their parents, Troy Burke and Jenille Rodriguez, were not at home when the fire started.

Their father was injured trying to get into the burning house to free them, while two daughters, 13 and 15, escaped.

A townhouse for the Burke family

Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox, meanwhile, told the Express on Friday that she had spoken with Rodriguez, who accepted an “emergency-use” townhouse at Vieux Fort in St James.

“I spoke to Housing Minister Pennelope Beckles and they were actually on stand-by and they were ready with a home. It is a townhouse. It is brand new and there is not much people there, and it will be cleaned and made available for them because the two children need somewhere to be comfortable,” said Cox.

“I met with her last Wednesday and she was so happy we met and she thanked me profusely,” she said.

Cox added: “We were able to talk about the children and we asked her how can we help in Social Development. There has since been a great outpouring from people and some business people as well who heard that I met with her, and they said if they needed anything else to let them know as they are willing to help.”

“This is the Trinidad and Tobago I know,” she added.


Spending by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service on contracts, fees and development programmes for the period 2016-2022 shows a significant increase during the past three years.

Contract employment in 2016 stood at $1,658,925; in 2017 it was $57,330,076; 2018 saw a dip by $3 million to $54,106,522.

Fourteen days.

That is the length of time residents of San Francique, Penal, are giving the Government to respond to their cries for better roads, pipe-borne water and for dealing with flooding.

Or the State will face major protest action.

The residents staged a placard protest at Pluck Road yesterday, calling on Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan to commence work on a landslide they say is threatening their homes and livelihoods.

Even though he was one of the hostages held and beaten during the attempted coup staged by the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen in July 1990, former minister Selby Wilson says he takes no pleasure in Jamaat leader Yasin Abu Bakr’s death.

A PRISON officer with 12 years’ service was arrested by police on Friday night after he was caught allegedly attempting to smuggle contraband items into the Maximum Security Prison (MSP) in Arouca.

The items were found concealed in the officer’s bullet-proof vest after it was examined by his colleagues and officers of the Arouca Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh is once again urging people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 to do so urgently, as they may not be able to receive the care they need should they contract the virus and need to be cared for in the Intensive Care Unit or High Dependency Unit.

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