Heroics of two men saved six-year-old girl from fire in Falmouth

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Heroics of two men saved six-year-old girl from fire in Falmouth

BY HORACE HINES
Staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, November 16, 2020

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny —Two friends risked their lives as they braved the scorching heat to rescue a six-year-old girl from an inferno that razed a three-bedroom board house along Duke Street in the historic town of Falmouth, early Saturday afternoon.

According to Lamar Richardson, he and his pal, Randy James became curious after a thick plume of smoke was noticed billowing from a house along Duke Street in the town.

Speaking to the Jamaica Observer, Richardson claimed that upon their arrival on the scene, where flames were already raging inside the house attracting a large group of people who massed along the roadway, they were spurred into action when they heard the cries of a distressed woman who bewailed that her daughter was trapped inside the house.

He said that he saw people on the scene using their cellular phones to take pictures while the child faced death in the ill-fated dwelling. The angry flames and searing heat kept the duo from entering through the front door, they told the Jamaica Observer.

They flattened the fence that separated the house from the neighbouring premises. Richardson recounted that he then quickly kicked down a door to gain entrance to a back room, which was partially blanketed in flames, and rescued the frightened child.

“The house that was burning down belongs to a close friend of ours. When we reached there we saw people videoing and the female that lived there was crying that she had a daughter inside the house,” Richardson complained incredulously. He said that after the child was rescued she insisted that she wanted to return to the blazing inferno as she thought her mother was still inside.

“The baby was crying that she want to go back inside because her mommy was left inside. She insisted that she didn't want to leave because her mother was inside,” Richardson said.

Meanwhile, a reticent James said he was glad he was able to assist in saving the child but declined to comment further.

Obviously traumatised, Dawnette White, who said she lost everything in the fire, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Richardson and James for their heroics, especially when she recounted that only days before, five- year-old Jadan Peterkin perished in a blaze in the inner-city community of Flanker in the bordering parish of St James.

“In a disaster like this and somebody save a life mi have to give thanks. Him save a life,” she said, referring to James.

White lamented that nothing was saved in the fire that gutted the building where she, her son, her daughter-in-law and her six-year-old daughter lived.

“Everything gone. Up to the money mi withdrew from the bank to go to supermarket. Inna the morning mi go a bank fi go draw money to pay light bill, water rate...It rough!” she bemoaned.

“When mi hear people talk bout disaster mi always say not even mi greatest enemy mi don't want it happen to and when it happen to mi, mi say Lord God, a this people a face? It no easy. From 4 o'clock this morning [yesterday] ... is like me can't sleep. It just inna mi head, inna mi head, inna mi head.”

She was especially pained by the fact that she was left in charge of the house by her friends who are abroad.

“And the funniest thing is this a no my house. A mi friend dem a foreign house and mi a tell you man mi feel it to mi heart. All mi life a deh so, all mi life a deh so. Is a house which mi cherish. All mi life a deh so mi deh,” she rued, adding that she was clueless as to what might have caused the fire.

“We don't know what caused it. Thank God for family and friends who help mi. Yesterday when mi hear, it come in like every instrument inna me shut off. Thank God fi mi pastor wife, if she wasn't there I would die. She saved mi life. If she wasn't there a dead body dem woulda come pick up inna the road.

“When wi get the news a she hold mi. That time everything shut off inna mi, everything. A lifeless body them did a look pon. All mi sister is not her house burn down and she take it so hard. Mi son worse,” White said.

Acting deputy superintendent in charge of the Falmouth Fire Station, Carol Wilmot, told the Observer that investigations were currently underway to determine the origin of the fire.

“The Falmouth Fire Station received the call at 12:45 pm and they responded promptly. On arrival, they observed a board structure...dwelling house engulfed in flames. The occupants were unable to say how the fire started. Four persons, including a child, were displaced,” Wilmot stated.


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