14ymedio, Havana, 8 December 2023 — The fire that broke out at noon this Thursday at 519 San José, between Lealtad and Campanario, in Centro Habana, finally has a perpetrator: the owner of the house “took her own life by setting the fire.” This is what two neighbors on the block told 14ymedio, claiming that the woman had been suffering from depression for some time.
“She was in her fifties. She was still young, but she was not well,” said one of the neighborhood residents, who explains that, after her mother’s death, the owner of the house “was no longer the same.” Another resident of San José, interviewed by this medium, confirmed that the cause of the fire was the same.
“When her mother died she began to change. She lost a lot of weight and seemed upset,” he says. “I know it wasn’t because of financial problems that she took her life. In fact, she had traveled abroad, I think to England,” she continues.
The Havana resident regrets the death, but says he feels relieved that the fire has not spread. “She was alone in the house, so no one else was injured. In addition, it took very little time for the firefighters to arrive because there is a station nearby,” he adds.
This morning, a pile of bricks and charred objects blocked the entrance to Number 519. From outside, through the window, several people could be seen in the room collecting the rubble after the fire.
Hours earlier, in its report on the event, the Provincial Government of Havana briefly reported the death of a woman, whose identity was unknown other than her sex, in a fire in her home. The causes of the fire are still being investigated, the authorities said then, with their usual terseness. Since then, no other report has revealed more details about the fire in Central Havana.
Several blocks from the scene of the accident, a fire occurred last June, caused by the explosion of two electric motorcycles in which a family of seven people, including two children, lost their lives.
Also in Central Havana, two people died in March of this year in a house fire. The poor condition of the homes in this area along with the structure, which favors the spread of fire and makes evacuations difficult, contributes to incidents like this being not uncommon.
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