House on Fire at La Caverne: Accident or Murder?

The fire that broke out on Tuesday 14th of October in a wooden house at La Caverne, witnessed by people living in the vicinity at around 02h30 a.m, had caused the death of three people. The identity of the latter has been revealed: the Joachim family and their friend from Rodrigues perished in the fire. The police thinks that the fire was not the result of an accident, and that it might have been intentionally triggered.


Autopsy results: death by intensive burns

The case of the sad incident that occurred yesterday 14th of October, whereby a wooden house caught fire, leading to the death of three people, has been partly elucidated. The three victims are, in fact, a mother of 56 years of age, Jacqueline Joachim, her 30-year-old son, Bernard Joachim, (as was previously suspected), and a 26-year-old man from Rodrigues, Kevin, who would reside at Quinze-Cantons. The three of them were in the house and met with death as the building collapsed during the fire.

The three corpses were brought to the Victoria hospital at Candos. Dr Sudesh Kumar Gundagin carried out autopsies on the dead bodies and concluded that the victims died as a consequence of intensive burns.

Accident or murder?

The Scene of Crime Office and the Forensic Science Laboratory have been working together in order to determine the cause of the fire.

How did the fire start? Was it the consequence of an accident, or was it intentionally caused? The police is of the opinion that the fire was intentionally made to break out, and even arrested a suspect. Henry Racoute, who was a friend of Jacqueline Joachim, was arrested and interrogated at the Criminal Investigation Division yesterday.

Bernard Joachim, one of the victims, had previously filed a police complaint against Henry Racoute, alleging that the latter was harrassing his mother.

Henry Racoute was ultimately freed because of a lack of evidence.

Different version given by the son of Henry Racoute

The son of Henry Racoute, Richard Racoute, however, has a different story. He stated that he had visited the family at around 19h30 on Monday night. He said that their light bulb in the kitchen had burnt out, adding that they must therefore have been using candles: perhaps the candles led to the fire? Richard Racoute stated that the victims had all consumed alcohol on Monday night. He also claimed to be the last one having seen either of them.

Neighbours, the Govindens, affected by the fire

One of the neighbour’s houses has also been touched by the fire: the Govinden family had their window panes break into pieces, while the piping systems have been damaged.

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