Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Annakay was minutes away from 17th birthday

Published:Wednesday | January 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
A charred basketball inside the yard tells the tale of the tragedy that struck at Walker's Place of Safety on Lyndhurst Crescent in St Andrew. Fire destroyed the institution, killing two wards of the State.

She was so close.

As Annakay Moreland waited anxiously for the clock to strike midnight to signal her 17th birthday, so, too, did her peers and caregivers who had big plans.

"We the staff and the children were planning to sing happy birthday, probably get a cake or so," Scephney McKenzie, caregiver at Walker's Place of Safety on Lyndhurst Crescent in St Andrew, told The Gleaner.

But the happy birthday plans were shattered, as Moreland, the young lady whom many described as loving and jovial, perished in a blaze that gutted the facility on Monday night.

Fellow ward, 12-year-old Anika McCrea, also described as an affectionate youngster with a burning passion for singing, also lost her life.

Both girls attended the Best Care Special Education School.

"Words can't describe the pain it has brought," stated a distraught McKenzie.