Haynesville tenants fear massive fire

Tenants of the National Housing Corporation (NHC) in Haynesville, St James say they fear it is only a matter of time before a massive electrical fire destroys their homes and their lives.

The residents complain that the signs are clear that the 40-year-old electrical system is no longer reliable and poses a threat to the lives of householders.

Two weeks ago, fire destroyed one of three bedrooms in an NHC unit in Haynesville, which one of the occupants, 43-year-old Ryan Odle, blamed on an electrical fault.

It was the latest blaze which tenants blame on a faulty electrical system which they said keeps showing signs that danger is not far away.

“My little nephew was in the kitchen using a bare toaster and it [power breaker] trip out. If you go and put on the bathroom light, you get shocked. If you barely use the washing machine and nothing else ain’t using in the house . . . the current just trip out,” a 31-year-old resident, who asked to be referred to only as Shane, said, adding there were times he would hear “placks, placks” only to realize a breaker had tripped.

“If the National Housing [Corporation] doesn’t do anything about these electrical [problems] more houses will definitely burn very soon,” he warned.

The Opposition Barbados Labour Party candidate for the area Sandra Husbands today presented the NHC with a petition bearing close to 200 signatures of concerned tenants demanding that the state agency makes rewiring of the Haynesville units a priority.

Opposition candidate Sandra Husbands showing the petition with nearly 200 signatures from Haynesville, St James residents.

“The Haynesville housing estate is over 40 years of age and the electrical wiring within the units has reached a stage of deterioration where it is now a danger to the residents,” Husbands said.

“Over the past two years we have had four fires in the area and people would have lost their property, and residents throughout the estate complained that, for example, the breaker constantly trips, they constantly have to be changing their light bulbs because the electrical wiring is old and needs replacing,” she reported,

The BLP candidate said the NHC has been advising its tenants that it did not have the funds to rewire the units or for simple repairs such as replacing doors or toilets.

However, Husbands said Government needed to take another look at its priorities and place the tenants at the top of the list.

“My contention is that Government prioritizes what it thinks is important. It says it has no money, but it was able to host CARIFESTA. It said it has no money, but they were able to do the 50th anniversary celebrations, they were able to do the David Thompson Football Classic, now that people have been complaining they were able to start a programme to repair roads.

“I am saying the hundreds of people who live in this area need relief from the stress. Many people talk about the fact that at night when the electricity usage is higher, whenever they hear a noise, they have to get up and run and investigate to make sure that their unit is not on fire,” Husbands said.

David Rogers was not at home when reporters visited the area this afternoon, but his brother Curtis Rogers explained the challenges facing his sibling.

“My brother lives in this community and every time I visit and he has to wash, it is a situation where he has to turn off everything
. . . the fridge, the TV, everything, just to wash. When the TV and fridge are on at the same time and he, say, plugs in a cellphone, the lights start to flicker and these are things that happen on the blocks as you go through the community,” Rogers said.

Curtis Rogers

Another tenant, Akera Jones, expressed fears that while her unit has been unscathed so far, it was only a matter of time before fire breaks out there.

“It really needs rewiring. Don’t care who you ask, don’t care who you call, it makes no sense . . . no help comes. I guess you have to pay your own money to get things sorted out in this area,” Jones said, adding that she simply could not afford to pay for repairs to the electrical system.

13 Responses to Haynesville tenants fear massive fire

  1. Sophia Sobers Ifill
    Sophia Sobers Ifill November 9, 2017 at 11:12 pm


  2. Lisa Moore
    Lisa Moore November 9, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I fear the 50 inch flat sreen tv’s that will be bought for Christmas. Smh

  3. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan November 9, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    This I fear is more serious than the loss of a 50inch TV. The threat of electrical fires with wiring of that age is real and the danger of it is that an electrical fire could start at anytime, even in the wee hours as residents sleep..come on residents get together and get serious about the safety of your homes and your lives. Don’t give the NHC room to breathe, stick on them till you get results.

  4. Kat November 10, 2017 at 1:03 am

    For all the persons who constantly badger “poor” people and talk about 50″ tvs and “nuff” cars in d ghetto, you amaze me. I always say, if these people have been living in these homes for over 20 years, and have not tried to help improve their standard of living, and they have not progressed, something must be wrong.
    Sometimes over 8 occupants live in one household, some even sleep on mummy’s couch. As kids grow older and work for themselves, more income comes in and they will start to attain material items they may not have been privileged to at a younger age.
    Stop being so mean and looking down on people just because they decide to be better and do better and can afford more after years of doing without…
    Deal with the issue at hand and not frivolous issues

  5. Gillian Skeete
    Gillian Skeete November 10, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Interesting this is just now coming out! These apartments should have had rewriting etc done a long time ago. Silly season all over the place at the expense of endangering people’s lives
    SHAME on housing ministry!!

  6. MArk Anthony
    MArk Anthony November 10, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Elections must be close

  7. archy perch November 10, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Donville Inniss gine rip the clothes off you girl.
    A necessary domestic violence in St.James South.
    Place an ambulance on standby.
    The vote count….10 to 1 is murder!
    Heart attack !
    Sandra! Yah boring true.

  8. Ossie Moore November 10, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Back in the 70’s when I was in Barbados and I used to hang out in Haynesville ( my girlfriend’s house ) it used to be a very nice place . But the criminal / ghetto element took over and when I was there a few months ago I could not beliveve how dilapidated the area ( Babados in general ) had become.

    It’s ares like this that you don’t want the beloved tourists to see.

  9. Ossie Moore November 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Tell Sandra to send me an absentee ballot voter’s card so that I can vote.

  10. jrsmith November 10, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Ghettos are people made bajans want to play american , but still its all the politicians fault………..

  11. Thunder November 10, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Wow only in Barbados!

  12. luther thorne November 10, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Caron C Cadogan – MK – DA Propaganda Arm DLP has gone underground and ” archy perch” – ARCHY PERCH – DLP Consortium
    desperation Squad spreading lies and desperation playing that they can predict the future and are clutching at all the brittle straws every opportunity

  13. Greengiant November 12, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Too many surge protectors, too many gadgets, homes wired for appliances only. Sandra Husbands your party had 14 years to address this. What did you all do? You should be ashamed, but I guess you too are expecting the usual national swing in your favor. That’s all you can do, you are the poorest of candidates with nothing at all to offer in terms of developmental ideas. For lack of leaders the people really will perish.


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