Man burnt alive in mystery fire

2011-08-13 00:00

HIS three-year-old daughter could not recognise the burning man approaching the house as she peered through a curtain, but when her mum realised what was going on, she restrained her daughter and got help — her husband had been burnt alive.

Vishal Haripersad (35) died this week from severe burns after a mystery fire engulfed his car as he pulled out of the driveway at his house in Westville to go to the casino last Saturday evening.

His family were baffled by the fire that quickly destroyed the car, and while some claim it may have been ignited with a lit cigarette, others suggest it may have been a hit on the successful civil engineer.

Haripersad’s father, Suresh, expressed his disappointment at the attitude of police in establishing the cause of the fire.

He said, “The car was recovered after fire-fighters put out the blaze and my son was rushed to Entabeni Hospital.

“We opened a case with police, but we were never approached by them and the car has been at the scrapyard since the incident, unattended. We need answers.”

Some neighbours claim that they were woken by the sound of gunshots and saw to their surprise their neighbour’s car was in flames, but the “hit” theory was discounted, since a tyre burst may have sounded like a gunshot.

“My son was supposed to host a major prayer at his house tomorrow and he was in good spirits at the time. There was no reason he would have taken his own life,” Suresh Haripersad said.

Staff at Classic Recovery, who removed the charred wreckage of the Mercedes Benz, said that it was odd that the vehicle had been left at their scrapyard in Pinetown, seemingly forsaken.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said police are only now beginning to investigate Haripersad’s death, since the case was only reported to them on Monday, and the family did not suspect anything sinister.

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