Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Rotary Club steps in to aid Bond Street fire victims

Published:Friday | August 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Family friend Torajee Mcleish walks with three-year-old Kaywana Foster, who is covering her nose while walking among burnt remains to get to her father in what used to be her home, which went up in flames on Sunday, leaving 17 persons homeless at Bond Street in Denham Town, Kingston.

The seven children and 13 adults whose homes on Bond Street in Denham Town, Kingston, was destroyed by a fire on Sunday stand to receive some assistance from the Rotary Club of Downtown Kingston after a proposal for a 'special donations drive' was recently adopted by the club's membership.

"Having seen the forlorn look of hopelessness on the adults, I can only imagine the hurt of those children who have no place to call home. With the new school term fast approaching, we believe it is a good idea to have this drive," said Shawna Brown, club administrator.

"This back-to-school supply collection and clothing drive is being used to acquire much-needed items for the children as part of the club's responsibility to the people it serves," she added.

 

Willingness to assist

 

A drop-off location is yet to be identified; however, the club's membership was asked to donate funds to also aid in the effort.

"This is our responsibility. Children are more than the future. They are more than a promise. They represent life. Consequently, losing your home in such tragic circumstances is food for thought, and part of the thought process is the willingness to assist," Brown said.

The fire service is yet to determine the cause of the costly blaze, estimated at $4.3 million in losses, which has resulted in the painful displacement of adults and children.

The fire, which began shortly after 8 a.m. on Sunday, apparently took the residents by surprise. While some were still asleep, the flames quickly engulfed five houses on two separate premises. The inferno destroyed everything in its wake before units from the York Park, Stony Hill, and Half-Way Tree fire departments managed to extinguish it.

In the aftermath of the fire, the victims were left homeless, without clothes, and relying on the goodwill of neighbours and friends to offer temporary shelter.

"Rotary Club of Downtown Kingston serves the people in various forms. This is our natural duty, and we are opening our hearts by giving. We also urge every other Jamaican to give to this effort," appealed President, Robert Scott.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com