By Makeida Antonio
The afternoon of November 3 2021 will be forever etched in the memories of a family of three from the Sea View Farm community following a devastating house fire which destroyed their home and possessions.
Nadira Singh, who spoke exclusively to Observer yesterday, said that three structures belonging to the family were totally gutted by the blaze which began at around 1.45pm. Singh explained that the fire started in their home, but claimed it could have been contained if firefighters arrived before it spread to the shop and an unfinished structure they also own in the same yard.
“When we came, we saw the house on fire. It wasn’t that big but the house was on fire; my daughter was left alone.
“We have a shop in the front; she was in the shop. She would normally be in the shop when we are not there. She smelled the smoke and the neighbour’s little girl came to the shop to buy whatever it was, so after she finished tending to the child that is when she tried to go to the back door of the shop to see probably what was going on and where the smoke was coming from, but she couldn’t because the house was on fire,” she recounted.
Singh went on to say that she only realised that her home was in flames when she was already approaching her residence.
“The shop wasn’t on fire yet so the neighbour lift her out and she jumped through the window of the shop counter so that is how they got out,” she said.
“I was coming home and we saw the fire when we bend the corner down there so I’m saying to my husband, where the smoke coming from, like something burning or somebody house burning, not knowing it’s our house.”
A major complaint by local residents is the lack of amenities and infrastructure that should be supplied by the government such as water, electricity, roads and garbage collection.
Singh, along with her neighbours, told Observer they believe had they had accessible and reliable water, the tragedy would not have been so widespread, reaching all of the family’s belongings.
“For the time that we were there if they had reached there, at least the shop and the other building, because our other daughter was building another house. She started to build to move until she got a piece of land so all of that was okay.
“So, I started saying to myself at least the fire truck will come so we will have those two places to rest our head when night time come but everything went up in flames by the time they come. We couldn’t save anything and that’s it,” Singh lamented.
Additionally, in the absence of water, the only assistance neighbours could provide during the incident was a call to the fire service. Both All Saints Fire Station and St John’s Fire Station responded to the inferno, but reportedly more than an hour later.
“The only neighbours we spoke to so far was the neighbour opposite. They said they called the fire truck because we asked them if anybody called and they said yes, so that is the neighbour. The police guy, he lifted the disabled girl out the shop and she jumped out so we can’t say anything else. We don’t know what happened,” she added.
Fire Chief Elvis Weaver denied firefighters had taken an excessive amount of time to reach the scene, telling Observer they had arrived within 10 minutes.
Anyone wishing to help the family can call Nasira Singh and her husband Lindert Woodroof on 714-7822 or 720-5898.