ANTIGUA – Seven homeless after morning blaze

ST JOHN’S –– It was a heartbreaking scene early yesterday morning, as two Jennings families watched helplessly as fire engulfed their homes in an intense inferno that sent embers and plumes of smoke up into the blackened sky.


Seven people were left with just the clothes on their backs, and heavy hearts after fire ravaged their homes leaving little of their possessions behind.

Reports from first villagers on the scene indicated thick smoke was first seen coming from the kitchen of a three-bedroom home, north of the Jennings Community Clinic, which Karina Morris, her daughter and her partner occupied.

Murray Joseph, who was one of the first people on scene, said he and his family were awakened by Morris, who asked for a telephone call to alert firemen.

“Approximately about 15 past 1 a.m., I was sleeping and my brother woke me up and told me there was a fire at the corner by Mrs Morris’ [Karina’s deceased mother’s] house, so I woke up,” he said. “The owner for the house asked me for a phone call. When I came out, I saw the back of the kitchen already smoking. Then, in about ten minutes time, the house
was engulfed.”

Joseph told Observer media, which arrived on the scene shortly after the blaze started, that soon after the fire intensified, the neighbouring home of Condace Joseph, Lyndon Barton, his daughter Mindy Barton and her son also ignited.

The dwelling, which also functions as Condace’s Bakery, is located at the foot of the Cedar Hall Church Road.

Joseph said seeing the danger, he quickly alerted his cousin Lyndon Barton whose hearing was muffled by the noise of the machines of the bakery as the rest of his family slept.

While a visibly shaken Morris and her family declined comment.

Lyndon Barton said when he was alerted to the fire, he was mixing dough for the first batch of bread expected to be sold that morning.

“Me nah feel good, because is something that could have been avoided. Me nah go none way. Me go get the materials and get dem boys to set me up. Me actually done mix already to go work at four o’clock, it’s just that everything haffu go squash now,” he lamented as he watched firefighters try to put out the flames.

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