Several people left homeless after fire in Whitfield Town
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Some 25 people, majority of whom are children, were left homeless on Thursday evening after a fire razed dwellings located on Swettenham Road in Whitfield Town, Kingston.
Eugene Kelly, councilor of the Whitfield Town Division, stated that the cause of the fire is still unknown, as he believes the fire brigade is still conducting investigations.
He further disclosed that some of the victims were also left homeless last year due to another fire.
One of the fire victims who identified himself as ‘Neil’ said that he is unsure of how the fire started as he was not at home. He told Observer Online that this is the second time that he has lost all his possessions due to a fire in the space of a year. He said he was also unable to save anything this time around.
“Me nuh know when it start because I was on the road and when me come back in me hear that me house on fire. This is the second one. Last year the second of January I got burn out, me was in the fire and this is the second one that happen to me now,” Neil said.
“Me lose everything last year, me just a set up back meself. December come and me say me alright now, me buy back me things little-by-little and now me lose everything. Nothing at all me don’t get fi save because me never deh here. Nothing for me pickney dem, everything gone, age paper, them don’t have anything to wear go school. Three kids I have going to school and everything them lose, every school supply, everything gone in flames,” a distraught Neil said.
Councillor Kelly described the scene on Swettenham Road as a total devastation as the victims have lost everything in the fire.
“It is a total devastation, a total wipe out of their clothing, all their belongings and when I came earlier today a number of the children, especially the older ones who are going to high school were insistent that they want to go back to school. They don’t have any clothes, they don’t have any uniforms but they want to go back to school,” Kelly said.
“We are here. The MP (Member of Parliament) has visited and we will be ensuring that many of them as swiftly as possible get back to school,” he added.
Kelly stated that he will be meeting with State agencies to see to the immediate needs of the fire victims, as food items, clothing and mattresses are being organised through the ministry of labour and social security.
“The MP and myself will be working with the solid waste management to begin the process of clearing out the site and the MP has committed that she will look into how swiftly housing can be arranged for persons right back here on this site,” he stated.