Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2023. 3:48 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Police investigators say they are not getting the cooperation of the owners of the homes and vehicles that were destroyed on Monday in the King’s Park area, on Simon Lamb and Nurse Seay Streets across from St. Joseph School.
The first house to be destroyed was that of Neftali Martinez, 85, at number 16 Simon Lamb Street, along with the apartments downstairs. The fire spread to the adjoining property of John Moore of number 15 Nurse Seay Street. In all, no less than nine persons are presently homeless.
Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor for the National Fire Service, told reporters that the cause of the fire is suspicious: “What we can report so far is that the fire started at the rear bedroom of the two-story wooden structure that was [situated] on Simon Lamb Street. This particular room was occupied by one of those unwelcome dwelling tenants, so to speak. He was involved in something out of the ordinary that eventually consumed the building, spread to nearby structures, and cause vehicular damage loss to the tenants next door…[The fire was] not set with intent but due to an accident, that accident caused several people to be homeless.”
Assistant Superintendent of Police Fitzroy Yearwood told reporters today that if someone is found to be at fault, no matter whether it was accidental or intentional, arson charges would follow, but a formal report remains outstanding. Their investigations continue.
If you would like to donate to fire victims, contact the following: Juana Gutierrez at 625-7483 and Jose Gonzalez at 666-1994.
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