WATCH: Niece of 90-y-o woman who perished in house fire laments not being able to spend Christmas together
PETERSFIELD, Westmoreland – With only 18 days left to Christmas, the niece of 90-year-old Leceiana ‘Aunt Lecy’ Spence said she has been robbed of another opportunity to spend Christmas with her beloved aunt who perished in a fire in Petersfield, Westmoreland on Wednesday night.
Mauvatt Spence, who spoke with Observer Online at their Petersfield home, fought to hold back the tears as she recounted the moment she got the news that her aunt’s house was on fire.
“I wasn’t expecting this cause I was planning to come and spend the Christmas with her, definitely. Last night when I got the news I reached down here. I was so devastated, all in tears. Very devastated and when I came the fire was still blazing. They [firefighters] couldn’t find her in the house,” the distraught niece recalled.
She said she got a phone call that her aunt was trapped inside the house.
“I was feeding my daughter because she is sick and I heard my other daughter crying and everybody in the house crying. I was asking them what happen and they said, ‘Aunty Lecy, aunt Lecy!’” Mauvatt went on to say.
The woman said her son tried to save her.
“The house ketch a fire and she trap upstairs, the gas stove and all she have up there blow up. My son tried to kick off the door fi guh inside but there was a lot of flames and smoke and fire, it push him back cause the gas cylinder explode and he fell on his back,” Mauvatt told Observer Online.
At the same time, Spence’s daughter-in-law said,”I live here and I was sitting in the coach with my daughter who was studying for her literature exam. I heard someone shouting ‘fire fire,’ then I ran outside thinking it was outside then I saw everyone running towards me. Mi bawl out Jesus Christ aunt Lecy upstairs. By the time I was supposed to go on the second flight of steps, I saw the fire because someone had kicked open the door.”
The mother of three said she was so shocked, she forgot the fire station’s number.
“I then I remembered my son was sleeping. So my main priority was to get him out. Mi drag him offa the bed by him foot and ran out. I was nervous and confused. I taught my kids the fire station number but to how I was nervous and in shock I couldn’t remember it for the life of me, I had to Google it, ” the distraught pre-school teacher recalled.
The family is appealing to the public for help in getting their lives back on track.
“We need help, some of the textbooks [were burnt]. My granddaughter just got a scholarship from JN Bank and she is traumatised. I also have a grandson that goes to Petersfield,” the niece appealed.
Reports from the Whithorn Police are that about 9:40 pm, a citizen saw smoke coming from a section of the yard. Further checks were made and fire was seen coming from the top section of the 11 bedroom dwelling house. The police and fire department were contacted and the fire was extinguished. Following the cooling down exercise Spence’s burnt remains were seen in her room. It was transported to the morgue for storage pending an autopsy.