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Elderly man dies in early-morning Chatham fire

Yvonne Webb A fireman fights remnants of the blaze. FILE PHOTO BY MARVIN HAMILTON -
A fireman fights remnants of the blaze. FILE PHOTO BY MARVIN HAMILTON -

POLICE and fire services are investigating a fire in which an elderly man of Chatham was burnt to death on Wednesday morning.

The victim has been identified as Ezekiel Juba, who was said to be in his late 70s.

Point Fortin MP Kennedy Richards Jr told the Newsday Juba, a businessman, was a long-standing member of the People’s National Movement (PNM).

He said Juba was alone at his Chatham Road, South home at the time of the incident, as his wife travelled abroad recently to visit their children.

“He was a livewire in the community, and it is tragic what happened to him. The entire community is saddened by his death because of the character of the individual.”

Chairman of the PNM Point Fortin constituency Clyde James, who visited the ruins of the house on Wednesday morning, said, “Something was amiss with that fire.”

He said Juba's body was found face down in the master bedroom.

“In the absence of empirical evidence, I cannot say for certain if there was foul play, but what we observed, let’s say, things were not normal. In my layman terms, it did not look correct.”

James confirmed Juba’s wife had travelled to Miami just last week.

He said from his information the fire, of unknown origin, started between 1 and 2 am on Wednesday.

Officers from the Point Fortin fire station responded, he said, but by the time they arrived from Clifton Hill, Point Fortin, the house was already gutted.

James, like Richards, acknowledged the role Juba played in the PNM in Chatham.

“He was the party’s mover and shaker in Chatham, a very liked and hard-working individual. He will be missed. “