Sat | Dec 10, 2016

'No one should have to go through this at Christmas'

Published:Wednesday | November 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Chadwick Coombs walks with two pairs of pants he was able to save from the rubble after the house in which he lived went up in flames on Monday night at Seaward Drive in St Andrew. Several families were left homeless after the blaze.

42 homeless after fire razes St Andrew dwellings

Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

Forty-two residents of Seaward Drive in the vicinity of Molynes Road in St Andrew have been left homeless following a fire on Monday.

Paula Anderson, a resident of the community, told The Gleaner she was looking forward to capitalising on the upcoming Christmas season after buying new items for her business last Saturday, but those items and her hopes went up in flames.

She noted that eight years ago, a similar incident took place.

The residents are, however, dependent on their faith to help them cope.

"When I saw the fire, di people dem partner money, my passport, and my documents flash before me, but by the time I was to rush in there, the place was already in flames," Anderson recalled.

"However, when I remember people like Job [in the Bible], I am encouraged. Mi nuh go through anything yet. This is just part of the plan that God has for us, and I know He has greater plans for me," she added.

"I won't lie and tell you that I am not disappointed because I was looking forward to making some sales for the Christmas. It's really not a nice feeling to know that you might not have anywhere stable to stay, but God is able."

Patrice Simpson, another victim, pointed out that she is hoping to recover as soon as possible.

"When I look back and I remember eight years ago, how our houses were burnt flat to the ground and we recovered nicely, I know we won't be left to suffer this time around," Simpson said.

"We are just hoping that the relevant persons will come on board to give us a start for the Christmas, especially for the children. I would really want a turnaround quickly for them," she said.

Patrick Roberts, councillor for the division, described the incident as unfortunate.

"My plan is to rally around these persons because at a crucial time like Christmas, no one should have to go through this," he said.

"The first order of business is to get the children back to school by Monday because we don't want them to miss too many days. Most of the residents were depending on the Christmas to bring in an extra income, so I know it's a lot they are going through right now, but myself and other stakeholders are willing to help," Roberts told The Gleaner.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com