House torched after woman rows with ex By Nigel Williams
Stabroek News
November 11, 2002

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Five persons are now homeless and millions of dollars in household articles and goods were destroyed after a woman allegedly set alight the home of her ex-reputed husband, when she found out that he was involved with another woman.

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, Gary Persaud of Lot 43 8E South East Cummings Lodge, East Coast Demerara was awakened from his paramour's home to watch helplessly as his two-storey wood and concrete building burnt to ashes.

He told Stabroek News yesterday that it is exactly three months since he and his former reputed wife Jenny Persaud, who bore him four children, have been separated. Police were yesterday seeking Jenny Persaud for questioning in the matter.

Residents said yesterday that the house was set on fire at about 11:45 p.m. and approximately 30 minutes after, the house was completely gutted with only parts of the downstairs, which is made of concrete still standing. When Stabroek News visited Cummings Lodge yesterday mostly rubble could be seen and smoke was still issuing from the site. Persaud and his four children were being sheltered by one of their neighbours.

Recounting his version of what transpired, Persaud who also operates a general store said that he and the woman who is accused of burning the place had been having problems for some time now.

He said that apart from the house that was set on fire, he had built another house next door to him where the woman stayed. He said even though they had separated he still allowed her to stay in the house, since he was concerned about the children they had together. The father of four said it is about three months now since the two of them were separated and at first she had moved away but recently returned to the home he had built for her.

Persaud said on Saturday night he had parked his vehicle in front of his new paramour's home and went into the yard where he had a few drinks and later fell asleep. He said while he was there the children, ranging in age from 3-12 were left in the house alone.

"I don't know but while I was there like somebody tell she that I deh home by this girl and she come and see me."

"So when she come deh and see me, she said I now see for meself. Me gon end up everything."

At that point he did not take her words seriously, but continued to drink.

Persaud said the two of them have been sharing a common-law relationship for some 14 years now and whenever he does something that she does not like she would threaten to burn his house and do other things. Asked what would have prompted the woman to burn the house Persaud said, "she threaten me and tell me ah can't carry no woman in the house is the children dem own and I said ok I would not take anybody there but, whoever I want deh with or talk to just give me a break."

The house that Persaud built for Jenny is still standing, but the angry businessman said that he would not allow her to dwell there anymore.

Persaud said the children were taken out of the house, a flammable substance thrown on all of the beds and then the place was set afire. He said when he awoke at his new lover's home and rushed to the scene the house was already gutted. "So I asked for my children and residents tell me that dem deh by me neighbour."

Even though they were separated, Jenny was a frequent visitor to Persaud's house.

He said she used to cook, wash and do some other household chores for him and the children. He said that his new lover does not visit him at home since he does all of the visiting.

Persaud added that he had always promised to give his children the house and because of that he will rebuild it.

The businessman's general store is the main shopping centre in the area. All that Persaud managed to save were a few cases of Banks DIH soft drinks and a stereo set.

He gave credit to the Guyana Fire Service and residents who assisted in preventing the fire from spreading to the other house which he had built for Jenny.

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