By Monique Washington
A mysterious fire in the backyard of a Cane Garden residence has left a mother fearing for her life and those of her children. She suspects it was intentionally set.
On Wednesday (May 5) evening, Fiona Leitch and her family were at home when a neighbour called to say there was a fire in their backyard.
Speaking with the Observer, Leitch detailed the night’s experience.
“I was on the phone with a friend about 11 pm when I heard my dogs barking, and they would not stop barking. I thought they were barking at donkeys. I told my husband to go and check. Shortly after, I heard my neighbour calling ‘Fiona, Fiona, fire in your backyard’,” she said.
Leitch said that when she looked out, she saw the fire blazing, and called her husband and her brothers who quickly put it out. She noted that she was terrified and did not come out of the house until the police came.
“When the police came, they came with nothing. I was expecting them to bring a searchlight, but the officer pulled out his phone and used his phone light. You could have seen where they (possible suspects) threw the gas and where the fire was blazing. They threw the bottle there, but when we got up this morning the bottle was gone,” she said.
Leitch expressed that she was disappointed, because as of press time the police had not returned to take a statement. She said that she also fears for her children, as a similar incident happened in the past 18 months. She said that in 2019, J & T produce stall that she owns was burnt to the ground. She noted that no one was prosecuted for that incident.
Leitch added that she rebuilt the stall and started her business again, but something bad happened.
“One day I got a call that someone had thrown oil on my stall so I would not be able to use it. I could not risk doing it again, so I decided that I would not run a stall again. Another time I came home and over 1000 of my chickens were dead. I use my chickens for eggs. Someone poisoned all of them,” she said.
Though Leitch has been on the island for over two decades, the recent incidents have caused her to want to return to her native country of Guyana.
“I am feeling very scared, and feeling like right now I want to go back home. Honestly, it has been hard. I am supposed to feel comfortable like any other person. I didn’t do anything to anyone. I work hard for whatever I want. I have to work for my children. I want to be here as a mother for my children,” she said.