Mon | May 20, 2019

Walker's Place of Safety fire report complete - Public disclosure next week

Published:Friday | March 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMBrian Walker/Staff Reporter

The nation will have to wait another week to hear the findings of the report on the fatal blaze at Walker's Place of Safety two months ago.

Two children were killed at the privately run facility at the intersection of Lyndhurst Road and Lyndhurst Crescent in St Andrew on January 16. Minister of State in charge of Youth Floyd Green told The Gleaner that the Jamaica Fire Brigade has completed its report and it is with the minister of local government and community development. Green said that he expected to receive the report today and his team would take the time to peruse the file.

"I will update the country in relation to what those findings may be, but more importantly, we also would have conducted our own internal checks and investigation. Clearly, we couldn't put that out there unless we get the fire report to so see if it goes together," said Green.

In February, civil society group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) called for an official report on the fire based on what is described as "Jamaica's longstanding issues regarding fire safety and monitoring of residential institutions housing children".

The group also urged the Government to bolster the safety of children in state care and to protect their rights. "If we are to prevent a sixth fire at a childcare facility in a decade, then there must be corresponding human and financial resources allocated to the welfare of these children that match their needs," said JFJ.

Green added that the wards who were displaced by the blaze have been receiving sustained psychological support.