JAMAICA – Arnett Gardens fire leaves five homeless
KINGSTON – Residents of Arnett Gardens in South St Andrew vowed to assist five people after a massive fire destroyed their homes at Lincoln Crescent in the community Tuesday.
“Anything them need and we can supply it, we supply it. When mi hear bout di fire a go my head a go because is here so mi come come eat my dinner every Sunday,” Walda Hay, a former resident of the community, told the Jamaica Observer.
“Dem nuh affi worry; bed deh here fi dem sleep pon. We will build back dem house because is long time we know dem,” another resident assured.
The fire, which began minutes before 3 p.m., also damaged several power lines, causing those in the vicinity to scamper.
The victims, 73-year-old fruit vendor Belinda Watson, her sons Christopher and Sheldon Robotham, Richard Davis and Marlon Clarke were shaken by the incident.
Reports are that a resident observed smoke coming from the back of one of the houses and alerted the occupants, including Watson, who said she lost everything in the blaze.
“Everything bun up! Mi in deh and dem seh fire and mi couldn’t grab anything. Mi just did affi come out,” Watson lamented.
The elderly woman, who is obviously loved by the community, told the Observer that the only thing she can do now is to “leave it to God”.
“Mi just left outta di house and go round by the centre and when mi come back mi see di smoke and dem a seh a my yard a bun down. A bare fire mi see. Mi hear seh some likkle yute light fire round a di back a di yard and it catch our house and burn it down,” Christopher Robotham said.
His brother Sheldon, a technician, expressed concerns about several items for repair he lost in the blaze.
“TV, microwave, component set, fans, three fridge bun up. Yuh have di darker set of people weh naah tek no talk, dem want back dem things and mi nuh have it fi give dem,” he said in distress.
He was reassured, however, that “everything will be ok” even as they called on political representatives to assist the victims in rebuilding their homes.
“Dem affi come help — Mark Golding and di rest of dem,” the residents insisted.
Twenty-seven firefighters and three units from the Half-Way-Tree, York Park and Rollington Town fire stations assisted in putting out the blaze. The cause of the blaze was not ascertained up until press time last night.