Benjamin says help available for fire victims

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Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin said the Greenbay Hill family of 13 that lost their homes in a huge blaze over the weekend can get help by applying through the government ministries.
“Once representation is made to the Ministry of Social Transformation they have monies assigned to assist families like those in need, so all the family will have to do is to make contact with the appropriate bodies and whatever funds will be made available to them,” Benjamin told OBSERVER media yesterday.
Aduke Antoine, her fiancé and life partner of 25 years, Valmore Hill, and their 10 children, lost their five-bedroom wooden home, as well as the house of Hill’s uncle, Trevor Hill, that was situated on the same property on Friday evening.
Antoine and Valmore were to get married just hours before the blaze destroyed the two houses and all their contents. The mother and her eight youngest children were at home when the fire broke out and despite her attempts to take a matress outside, which she  believes to be the source of the fire, her efforts failed.. She received burns to one of her hands in the process.
Instead of enjoying the first two days of wedding bliss, the couple is now trying to sort their lives having lost wedding rings, electronic devices, clothing, household items, toys and all their personal items in the fire.
The combined family of 13 is now staying in the 20 x 30 home of a member of their extended family who already had four occupants in the two-bedroom, one bathroom home.
A grateful Antoine told OBSERVER media that she is thankful for the outpouring of support for her and her family in the form of clothing, toiletries and other household items, and added the family is in dire need of a place to call their own.
“We are making the best of a very bad situation; we are happy for any kind of help that we can have a home for ourselves so that all of the children can be comfortable. It’s been hard and we have nowhere to put all of the things people have been bringing us,” she said.
The couple had recently renovated, extended and furnished the home in anticipation of their wedding but is forced now to start over because the wooden structure was not insured.
Children Nicola, Chris, Jamie, Jerome, twins Tia and Tamera, Jason, Tina, Marcus and Mark Hill lost all their school supplies in the inferno which the fire department had battled for over two hours.

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