Fri | Aug 14, 2020

‘Devastated’ - Man rues losing life possessions in Kingston fire

Published:Wednesday | July 29, 2020 | 12:29 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Firemen tackle a blaze at Swettenham Road in Kingston on Tuesday. Bryan Yates was a picture of devastation as he rued the loss of his possessions.
Firemen tackle a blaze at Swettenham Road in Kingston on Tuesday. Bryan Yates was a picture of devastation as he rued the loss of his possessions.

The anguished look on the face of Bryan Yates was a tale of despair and defeat.

Yates had left his home around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday to run a few errands before heading to work. But he ended up rushing back, a few minutes later, to a home burnt crisp by a raging fire.

He lost almost everything.

“I am devastated. We were hoping to come back to save some things. But at the end of the day, we lost a whole lot of things like documents, TV, two dressers belonging to somebody else,” he said, in despair.

Yates said that his side of the property sustained the most severe damage.

Firefighters scurried to prevent greater devastation on Tuesday afternoon shortly after a home at 1 Swettenham Road in Kingston 13 had gone up in flames.

At least two units from the Jamaica Fire Brigade fought the blaze.

Residents theorise that a man had left his pots unattended while was cooking, which might have sparked the blaze.

At least half of the premises, occupied by at least 10 people, was destroyed.

Kadian Grant and her two children were thankful that virtually all of their possessions were spared.

Grant, a vendor, shared how she abandoned her goods in downtown Kingston and rushed home upon hearing the news. The thought of her children dying in the fire made her run even faster than she thought she could.

“A di heat my niece feel and run out with the baby. My house nuh touch, but mi still worried because a mi baby.

“Mi curtain dem bun up and it a melt mi stove fi show you how close it is,” Grant said.

A male resident commented that the fire escalated in quick time.

“Me pass and think seh a tyre dem a bun or garbage, and den it just get bigger and bigger.”

One woman remarked that Maxfield Park had been experiencing too many fires.

“We had one Sunday on Raphael Avenue and then there was another one on Barnes Avenue, and now this one,” she said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com