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Wild Street fire threatens to put damper on Christmas for residents

Published:Monday | December 19, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Firemen on the scene.
A resident moves furniture and household appliances out of danger, while firemen fight off a massive fire that destroyed three houses on Wild Street in Franklyn Town, Kingston, yesterday.
Residents roll a barrel of water to help the firemen fighting a massive blaze that destroyed three house on Wild Street in Franklyn Town, Kingston, yesterday.
Resident move their furniture away from danger.
Marlene Farquharson was among those impacted by the fire.
A fireman calls for support while fighting the blaze.
This resident helps fight the fire.
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It was a dismal scene at 11, 13, and 15 Wild Street in Franklyn Town, Kingston, yesterday where three dwellings were ravaged by fire just seven days before Christmas.

Up to yesterday evening, the cause of the fire, which started at around 1:18 p.m., had yet to be determined, according to an official from the fire department.

However, residents said the blaze started from a cooking pot being left unattended at the back of one of the yards.

A resident told The Gleaner that the breeze could have caused the fire from the pot to get out of control as a result of sparks being blown towards a wooden house at 15 Wild Street.

From there, the fire spread quickly to adjoining structures at 13 and 11 Wild Street.

Residents rushed to remove as much furniture as they could, fearing that their belongings would go up in smoke.

Units from the York Park, Rollington Town, Trench Town, and Half-Way Tree fire stations responded to help put out the blaze but were impeded by the absence of fire hydrants close by.

 

NO PIPE CLOSE BY

 

"We had problems with water because there is no immediate pipe in the vicinity. (It was) very difficult. With the magnitude of that fire, with a hydrant in proximity, things would have been much better," Firefighter Nigel Cox, a district officer, told The Gleaner.

Cox put the estimated value of the loss at $5 million.

Also affected was a premises located behind the three houses at 2 Swan Lane.

Among those affected was Marlene Farquharson, who lives with her two children ages 14 and 17.

Farquharson told The Gleaner that she had just taken her medication when the fire started and was in shock.

"I was inside my house and mi only hear di man a call out 'Marlene! Fire!' and mi just start tek out things," she said.

She requested help from anyone to replace some building material she lost in the fire. She had been planning to add another room to her wooden house.