NEVILLE Thompson, owner and operator of a three-decade-old woodwork shop in Hannah Town, Kingston, is seeking assistance from the public to replace important equipment lost in a fire which razed the establishment three Tuesdays ago.
Thompson told the Jamaica Observer that on the day of the fire, he was about to eat dinner when he was alerted that the shop, which his father had handed down to him, was engulfed by fire.
He said when he arrived there was hardly anything he could do to save the many pieces of expensive equipment inside the building as well as work which he and other workmen had started.
The only item saved, Thompson said, was a bedroom set he relocated to another area of the premises.
“One special work in particular was saved. Father God made me save at least that. I was doing a bedroom set for somebody and I got up the Monday and said I was going to take it out of the shop and carry them to a different storage,” he shared.
The sight of ashes, Thompson said, sent him into a tailspin and now he is seeking help to get back on his feet.
“I lost everything in my woodwork shop on Oxford Street. Somebody called me and said the building was on fire. It happened around after 8:00 pm. I ran out in the night, opened the place and threw some water, but fire, smoke and everything started to hit me. I had to run out and call the fire brigade. By the time the fire brigade came, everywhere burned down. All the trees bun up. Fire melt up all the nine machines and all the work that I was doing. I remember locking the shop and going over to my house. I took off my shirt and said I was going to eat some food and I heard somebody shout, ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!
“I looked through the window and saw smoke. By the time I came out, everything was engulfed. Five of us occupy the building [and] everybody had work in the shop. We are looking at millions of dollars in losses. The machines alone are expensive. Right now, I would love some help to get back some machines. Once I get the machines, at least I can build up a shed and keep on working. I need to get a table saw, a joiner and a bond saw,” Thompson said.
Thompson’s daughter, Tangena, shared with the Observer that the destroyed workshop was what fed her father, his siblings and other relatives for more than 30 years. She, therefore, would be happy and thankful to see the family legacy restored with the help of kind Jamaicans.
“The workshop existed for over three decades. Losing the workshop that my grandfather built for my father, my uncles, and granduncles is hard because it is actually the food stem. That is where the income comes from to feed the children and grandchildren and even the community kids. It’s the only woodwork shop in Hannah Town and I would really love for my father to get good support, material and equipment to build up back the workshop,” she said.
People who are in a position to help Thompson to get back on his feet can reach him at 876-432-8532.