Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Siblings placed together after blaze at Walker's Place of Safety

Published:Thursday | January 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness comforts wards of Walker's Place of Safety in St Andrew on Tuesday. The home was destroyed by fire, killing two girls.
The remains of the playground.
Wards and caregivers lost everything in the fatal fire at the Walker's Place of Safety.

Four sets of siblings who were temporarily displaced after a fire destroyed the Walker's Place of Safety on Monday night are living together once again in three children's homes across the Corporate Area.

The hellish blaze at the Lyndhurst Crescent, St Andrew, facility claimed the lives of two female wards and forced 34 others to seek shelter at the nearby Shiloh Apostolic Faith Tabernacle Church.

However, speaking with The Gleaner yesterday morning, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Information Floyd Green confirmed that the relocation process for all surviving wards had been completed and the relatives have been placed together.

"We were also able to complete the process, which had already started, for one child to go into foster care, and there was another process for two of the children to be reintegrated with their family, and we did that. So all the children would have been in suitable accommodations last night (Tuesday night), and we continue to counsel to ensure that they get past this traumatic experience," Green said.

At the same time, the state minister pointed out that the Government had started the process to help at least one caregiver who was a permanent resident at the facility.

"Just like the children, everything would have been lost for that caregiver. So we are also seeking to help that caregiver with restoration of items so she can get back on her feet. We also have to explore residency because even though it was a privately run facility, the staff is important to us, and we see it as part of our duty to help in these circumstances," he said.

Green added that he was expecting a preliminary report on the incident in short order.




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