Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Fire leaves eight families homeless

Published:Saturday | July 12, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Cornel Bogle and Raheem McKain, Gleaner Interns

Twenty-six persons were left homeless after a fire broke out at Water Street off Windward Road in Kingston on Thursday evening. The residents said the fire originated at the back of one of the properties and spread to a neighbouring home.

Nicole Lewis, whose home was destroyed in the fire, spent Thursday night sleeping on the street with her daughter. She complained about the lack of help she received.

Her sentiments were echoed by shopkeeper Sandra Clarke, who lost both her home and her shop, which contained goods valued at more than $150,000. Clarke lamented that her grandchildren, who were looking forward to attending summer school, were set back because of their losses.

Quick response

Assistant Superintendent of the York Park Fire Station John Morais said they received a call at 5:30 Thursday evening and a team from the brigade was on the scene within five minutes.

Morais estimated that the total loss of Thursday's fire was $4 million. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Another victim of the fire, Steve Gray, said that when the fire broke out, his first action was to ensure that all the children were safe. He, along with neighbours, then turned their efforts to fighting the fire and salvaging as much as they could. "We could have saved more, but water was the issue," he said, arguing that low water supply due to water restrictions in the area thwarted their efforts at minimising damage.

When The Gleaner visited the scene, residents said that Ronnie Thwaites, the member of Parliament for Central Kingston, had visited the site earlier and promised to arrange assistance for the victims.