Family saddened after children die in fire

May 19, 2016
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer Ruth Johnson-Gardener (left) is overcome with grief after hearing news that her two grandchildren perished in a fire at a house along Studio One Boulevard in St Andrew yesterday.
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer Scores of belongings outside in a yard where two children perished in a fire at a house along Studio One Boulevard in St Andrew yesterday.

Following yesterday's tragedy of losing her two grandchildren in a house fire, Lorna Bosfield says all she can do right now is leave it to God.

Bosfield, who was on an eight-day visit to Jamaica from The Bahamas, said these deaths bring back memories of 1991 when her husband was electrocuted and then her son was shot and killed 11 days later.

Yesterday, Bosfield's grandchildren, 10-year-old Nyheema Barrett, and her four-year-old brother, Shaeem Green, were asleep at their Heathfield Road home in St Andrew, when the house caught fire in the wee hours of the morning. They were burnt to death.

Nyheema was a student at the Allman Town Primary School, and Shaeem was a student at the Mulvina White Basic School.

Firefighters theorise that the fire might have started from a mosquito destroyer in the house.

Bosfield explained that the now deceased children were sleeping in the room with their 14-year old sister and another young female cousin.

"We didn't abandon them or anything like that. All of them were bundling up last night because their cousin had just come from the country and they haven't seen her for a while, so all of them just decide say them must sleep together," Bosfield explained.

She said when the 14-year-old child realised the house was on fire she started waking up other persons in the house, not realising that her two younger siblings were still asleep in the room.

Numerous attempts to rescue them were futile, as the fire had already engulfed that section of the house.

At the time of the fire, the deceased children's mother, 29-year-old Shinelle Smith was at the Bustamente Hospital for Children where she works as a security guard. Upon hearing the news, she fainted. She has since been treated and released from hospital.

Andrew Hylton, who occupied another section of the house, told THE STAR that the emergency respondents were woefully inadequate. He said when he contacted the police via 119, the respondent was unfamiliar with the location of the house, and could not direct firefighters and the police to the scene.

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