Family of 10 left homeless by Saturday’s blaze

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By Elesha George

[email protected]

A family of 10 looked onto the barren area where their homes once stood yesterday as a backhoe gathered up loads of burnt debris.

A group of children, who are likely to be out of school for the next week, played in the background, as men from their village piled the remains of their lives into garbage heaps.

It was about 3pm on Saturday when two houses and a wooden structure in Swetes were completely destroyed.

One of the houses was occupied by Shenequah Josiah, a 29-year-old nail technician.

She told Observer how she helplessly watched her home go up in flames while waiting on fire tenders to arrive.

“I was in my room cleaning and my daughter come and tell me the bed was on fire. So, when I went around [I saw] it was a small fire.

“I went into the bathroom to get some water in a basin but by the time I throw the water, it just went up like I throw gasoline,” she recounted.

She then rushed for her cell phone to call the fire department but officers were already attending to an earlier fire at a built-up residential area in Point.

“They took about an hour and a half,” she claimed.

Her children, along with her brother and his children, lost all they had in that blaze.

The 32-year-old brother, whose primary income comes from washing cars, lost all his supplies.

The youngest child is just a year old and the two eldest are both 14.

“We’re trying to find somewhere we could stay until all this is back,” Josiah said, sharing that they have taken up temporary residence at the Yacht Club Marina.

Both families are now seeking donations to include appliances, beds, clothes, school bags and uniforms for two students who attend school in Cobbs Cross, a seven-year-old girl who attends TN Kirnon, and two 14-year-old boys who attend the Irene B Williams Secondary School.

They can be contacted at 775-0075.

Meanwhile, Observer was unable to speak with the man who occupies a house near where a fire broke out in Booby Alley, in Point, also on Saturday.

One of his neighbours however explained that he was not home when the fire started and that it was one of their relatives who called the fire department.

The aftermath of the fire revealed a number of burnt trees, including a fruit tree that grew within the boundaries of the man’s house.

The flames completely destroyed two abandoned buildings that stood just inches away from where the man lives.

Fire Chief Elvis Weaver told Observer that preliminary investigations suggest that the fire in Swetes was started accidentally.

“We are suspecting that that could have been accidentally started,” he said.

As for the blaze in Booby Alley, no determination has yet been made on the cause.

“That had no electricity or anything, so we are vigorously trying to carry out the investigation to see what would have caused the fire in Booby Alley,” Weaver said.

He added that firefighters had gone straight to Swetes after the Point blaze but could not yet confirm how long they took to arrive.

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