Hatton man loses two-bedroom home to fire

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By Orville Williams

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A Hatton man is the latest resident to be displaced by a fire after seeing his home completely destroyed by a blaze in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The incident took place three days after four homes were destroyed by a terrible fire in the Greenbay area on Monday, and left the man – identified as Fitz McDonald Smith – with little more than the proverbial shirt on his back.

“Information received from the occupant of the house is that he was asleep when he was awakened by a loud sound [and] noticed that the house was on fire.

“He then reported that he exited the house, but he was unable to save his belongings … along with the house, three vehicles were destroyed,” Inspector Lester Bagot, of the Fire Department, told Observer.

Inspector Bagot further revealed that his department received the initial call about the fire at 4.39am, and “an immediate response was made by the fire tenders number 11 and 15…backup came from the All Saints Fire Station by way of the number 17 truck”.

He added, “On arrival at the scene, the crew met a house fully engulfed in flames [and] water was used from the trucks to control and extinguish the inferno, while at the same time preventing flames from spreading to the adjacent building.”

According to reports, Smith was the only occupant in the wooden 20 x 26 ft structure, and he only managed to save his important documents; his clothing, appliances and personal belongings were all destroyed in the blaze.

The Fire Department is currently investigating to determine the possible cause.

In addition to Thursday’s incident, around 16 people were reportedly displaced after a huge fire totally wiped out four homes and possibly killed one resident in Greenbay.

No details on the cause of that blaze have yet been revealed, but a 44-year-old man who was living in one of the homes has yet to be accounted for – he is largely suspected to be the sole victim of the fire, as what appeared to be human remains were found among the debris.

The two incidents sandwich the handing over of a much-needed fire truck to the St John’s Fire Station by developers behind Barbuda’s Peace, Love and Happiness (PLH) project.

The new truck is said to carry a 1,260-gallon-per-minute pump – a capacity said to be similar to fire trucks used in major US cities – and will certainly boost the capacity of the Fire Department to respond to emergencies.

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