Mothers in distress after fire destroys home
Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Shereen Williams did her best yesterday to put on a brave face after a fast-moving fire destroyed everything she had in her Majesty Gardens, St Andrew, home.
However, the gloom over the prospects of rebuilding her life was apparently too much and soon the mother of four was in tears.
"I would appreciate some help, but otherwise, I don't know what I am going to do," she said when asked about her next move.
Williams' house was one of 15 that were destroyed in the blaze yesterday afternoon that left more than 50 persons homeless.
The houses, which are constructed from concrete, board and zinc, are all attached to each other and residents believe the fire was started by a group of children in a room occupied by an elderly man, then quickly spread.
"By the time we go so an' pop off him door, the fire already done spread, so all we a throw water it couldn't do anything," one resident told The Gleaner.
After firefighters conducted cooling-down operations, scores of persons searched through the debris trying to salvage whatever they could.
Williams said her loss is particularly difficult because she has two children in school, one of them a student at Norman Manley High School.
"Him clothes, shoes ... everything gone," she said.
Yvonne Wright complained that she too lost all her possessions, including back-to-school supplies she purchased last Friday for her eight and 11-year-old children.
"Everything weh mi did have spen' out ... a mi likkle pawdner draw mi use an' buy di book dem and sen' dem go a school," she lamented.
"Everyt'ing gone," she added.
The police confirmed the fire, saying 12 houses were destroyed.
The Hunts Bay police reported that residents saw fire coming from a house in Majesty Gardens and summoned the police and the fire department.
However, the police say the flames quickly engulfed several adjoining houses.