Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Setback! - Fire leaves families homeless in downtown Kingston

Published:Friday | September 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM
A firefighter works feverishly yesterday to put out the blaze at a building located at the intersection of Duke and Sutton streets in Kingston.
Parents of children from St Aloysius Primary School yesterday scrambled to get their children from the institution as fire engulfed a building at the nearby intersection of Duke and Sutton streets. Firefighters from the York Park, Half-Way Tree and Trench Town Fire stations put out the blaze.
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It was twice unlucky for Kedisha, who lost all her belongings in a fire at her house on Love Lane in downtown Kingston last August.

Just over one year later, Kedisha is again counting her losses after fire destroyed her house at the intersection of Sutton and Duke streets, metres from the ill-fated Love Lane premises, yesterday morning.

"I saved some of my things, but all the papers like mi ID and birth certificate that me just get back, and all of my good clothes burn up again," said Kedisha, mother of one.

She is one member of a family that shared the premises, which was engulfed by flames shortly after 8 a.m.

Her family member, Nicky, was a little luckier - just a little. Nicky managed to escape the blaze with a bag containing her important papers.

"Me no save nothing else, nothing at all," said Nicky, mother of three, who was one of the first residents of the property to notice the blaze.

"Everything for the children gone. Only the clothes on their backs and the bags with them books that them leave with for school this morning [remain]," added Nicky.

At least 16 persons were left homeless on the premises, which also housed a cook shop and a bar. A neighbouring office building, which housed two lawyers, was also damaged.

Up to late yesterday, there was no estimate of the damage and firefighters were unable to say what had caused the blaze, but residents are convinced that it was electrical.

Students at three Duke Street-based schools, St Aloysius Primary, St George's Girls & Infant, and St Joseph's Infant, were affected by the smoke, with worried parents quick on the scene to take home their children.

Firefighters from the York Park, Half-Way Tree, and Trench Town stations spent hours putting out the blaze.