UPDATE: Two girls aged 12, 16 die in fire at Walker's Place of Safety
Walker's Place of Safety is reporting that two girls aged 12 and 16 died in the fire at its Lyndhurst Crescent facility in Kingston early this morning.
Thirty four other children who were housed at the facility have been moved to a temporary holding facility at a nearby church.
In the meantime, counselling is being offered to the children and staff through the Child Protection and Family Services Agency.
"This is a truly devastating and traumatic experience for all involved," State Minister for Education Floyd Green.
Green also said the cause of the fire remains undetermined and an investigation will be conducted with the help of the fire department to find out what happened.
The Walker’s Place of Safety serves as a transitional residence for children, generally up to 12 years old, who have been abandoned or removed from their homes because of unstable conditions.
It provided food and shelter, along with access to educational services and health care.