News

Fire! 13 homeless

6 houses razed in East Kgn tenement

Saturday, February 22, 2014    

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Thirteen people, including five children, were yesterday left homeless when fire of unknown origin gutted six houses in a tenement yard in East Kingston.

Police report that at about 11:30 am residents in the area saw smoke coming from a house located off Wellington Street and raised an alarm.

"I was on the road talking to a friend and I heard someone shout out fire," said Deadre Lewis.

The 47-year-old female resident said she rushed to investigate and found that her house was among several buildings on fire.

The discovery triggered a mad rush as residents, armed with buckets of water, made a desperate attempt to put out the blaze.

They were forced to beat a hasty retreat as the heat and smoke from the angry blaze made their task difficult.

As the fire razed the houses, residents from neighbouring streets rushed to remove furniture and other items from their homes in fear that the fire would spread.

Lewis was not so lucky.

"I lost everything," she said, as she struggled to hold back the tears.

Jacqueline Shawna Russell, 36, was another female resident counting her losses as she was left with only the clothes on her back.

"Everything I work hard for gone," said the obviously distraught Russell, who sat on a sidewalk, her head in her hands as she wept.

"I don't have no big education. I have to work in the nights to earn my honest bread and to see me lose everything like this me can't bear it," said Russell.

As the fire victims wept, firefighters were not spared the wrath of residents who accused them of responding too slowly.

"Imagine, look where the Rollington Town Fire Station is located and look how long we calling the fire station and still could not get help," Maxine Downer complained.

She was supported by Maurine Haslam, who said she was disappointed with how the firefighters responded.

"This is not professional, people were running up and down calling the fire station that is so close to the area and still had to wait for a while to get help. Even the police responded before the firefighters," said Haslam.

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