Woman collapses after getting home to see house on fire; 9 displaced

IT was frenzy in Balcombe Drive, Waterhouse, on Tuesday night as residents, some with cooking gas cylinders, ran from Welcome Avenue in a section of the community where a fire ravaged three houses, leaving nine people displaced.

Police say it is believed that the fire was started by a boy.

Based on a police report, about 7 o’ clock a thick smoke alerted residents to the house fire, which eventually spread to two adjoining houses. Before the fire brigade arrived to the scene, residents used pans with water, in a desperate attempt, to extinguish the fire.

It was a dreaded night for Natalie Davey, a mother of six, whose house was reduced to ashes while she was away, despite the efforts of her neighbours.

“Mi just a think pon mi baby dem. My baby is five months old and my other little boy is four. My others kids are not here. Mi nuh feel good. Everything bun up. The only thing wi have now is what we did have on. The fridge, stove, bed, dresser, and everything gone. Mi couldn’t save them,” a distraught Davey told the Jamaica Observer yesterday when a team visited the scene.

“My passport, birth certificate, everything. My baby papers fi guh a clinic and other documents like immunisation card gone. Somebody just buy a tin of feeding fi di baby,” she added, struggling to stand firm atop the remains of what was once her home.

Davey wasn’t at home at the time and became aware that her one-bedroom dwelling was engulfed in flames after a neighbour called her.

“Somebody tell mi seh mi house a bun dung, and when mi come, mi couldn’t guh ina the house. A just bare fire mi see. Mi nuh save nothing at all. Mi did afi go back out a road.”

Overwhelmed, Davey then collapsed on the road and had to be rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).

“Mi just faint weh. I don’t know, but mi just find mi self pon the grung. People afi tek the baby outa mi hand. Them put mi ina one car and bring mi guh hospital. They told me to sit down and wait but mi tek time and come out. Mi a consider about my two babies. Mi couldn’t stay,” she said.

Andrew Stewart, one of the men who was trying to put out the fire told the Observer that nothing was salvageable.

“When wi come, [it was] about five to 10 minutes after the fire, so wi couldn’t really do much. Wi couldn’t save nothing ina har [Natalie] house. Only thing wi coulda do was try get the fire down suh it don’t catch other places and get outa control. Wi afi a lift out cylinder and a run wid cylinder. When the fireman dem come, dem a seh wi brave,” Stewart said.

Kaydian Taylor recalled trying to prevent the fire from spreading to a fourth house.

“Wi affi kick off the door and tek out the things dem. Wi couldn’t get in one house because wi couldn’t get off the lock, suh wi affi lick off the window dem. And me and mi friend dem just start throw water,” said Taylor.

“Wi tek out about seven cylinder and one a dem did a spray out. I was trying to head upstairs but mi affi leave it. The smoke just lick mi ina mi face,” she added, looking at the half-burnt one-storey house.

Kemar Bailey, another community member added: “One a the cylinder did a leak and mi afi rush out wid it and guh put it ina water. Everybody a run when wi a come out wid them. People a run! All police a run!”

Citing preliminary reports, Commanding Officer for the St Andrew South Police Division Superintendent Kirk Ricketts said: “We have no reports of injuries or loss of lives.”

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