Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Mother in shock over burnt-out house

Published:Wednesday | June 29, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Firefighters carrying out cooling-down operations yesterday.
Douglas Hanson walks through the rubble left behind by the fire.

"A dream" is how Yvonne Flemmings describes her reality yesterday, as she watched her two bedroom board house at Fletcher's Land go up in flames, and eventually burn to the ground.

"Right now, I just tell mi self seh it's not a real thing, it's a dream. Mi just want fi wake up out of this dream and just go back to mi normal way. This is not how I plan things to be. To be homeless in this time, Lord God, it's bad, so bad," Flemmings told The Gleaner.

Flemmings and her children were at home when she was alerted by her 14-year-old daughter that smoke was coming from one of the rooms. Her common-law husband and father of the children, Douglas Hanson, was at work at the time of the fire. He was distraught when he arrived on the scene.

"All me know, mi outside sit down and mi big daughter come out and tell mi seh smoke (inside the house). When mi run go inna di house and go round a di other room weh nuh body nuh inna, a round there mi see the smoke coming from. Suh mi rush out back now fi see if mi can use a jug weh mi have inna di kitchen fi full it because it wide enough, weh mi coulda throw," Flemmings said.

"By time mi get the water fi throw out and come back, mi see the mattress catch fire, everything just gone up inna flames. It get out a control. The smoke get black and we couldn't stay in suh mi tell her seh fi try grab the children dem and come. The whole place just burn down in a split second," she explained.




Despite losing everything except the clothes on her and her children's backs, Flemmings was particularly worried about the loss of important documentation for her children. She is also appealing for assistance.

"God see and know, I'm confused. I just need help wherever it can come from. Please! Fi get back everybody birth paper, it's a whole heap of money. I don't know how I'm going to begin. I always see these things on the news, but I never know it could happen to me. It's so unfortunate. Mi just get all a barrel with couple things from mi grandma weh mi go a wharf go clear. Everything inna it gone. She send likkle bags, clothes, likkle foodstuff and everything gone," she said.

Two units from the York Park and Rollington Town fire stations responded to put out the blaze.

A district officer from the York Park Fire Station said that a call was received about the blaze at 11:39 a.m. Nine persons were left homeless - two adults and seven children.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined and damage was estimated at $1.5 million. The house was not insured.