Fire leaves five homeless

August 16, 2016
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer A woman carries some of the items she managed to salvage from the blaze
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer A firefighter does cooling down operation after the fire.
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer Seventy three year-old Belinda Watson wipes away tears as she speaks about the fire
Tehri-Ann Brown/Photographer Shanelle Copeland wet up a nearby premises to prevent the fire from spreading.

Five persons are now homeless following a fire which gutted their dwellings in Arnett Gardens, St Andrew, yesterday afternoon.

Three houses at the corner of Lincoln and Greenwich crescents were burned to the ground about 3:30 p.m. Fire personnel from the Half-Way Tree Fire Station said initial investigations suggest that the fire was started when someone lit rubbish at the back of one of the homes, and it got out of control.

Belinda Watson, a 73-year-old vendor, who lost her three-bedroom home in the inferno, told THE STAR that she narrowly escaped being burned to death in her house. "I was inside my house sleeping. I don't know what happened. I just heard like there was a rumbling outside, and when me look mi see say a fire," she said, noting that a neighbour rescued her.

Did not save anything

Watson, who lived with her two adult sons, could not hold back tears when she said she did not save anything except the clothes on her back.

One of her sons, Christopher Robotham, said the incident has left him in a daze. "Mi wasn't here you know. I left to do something for my mother and when me come back me see the heap a smoke not knowing say a my house. Everything burn down because it happen so sudden," he said.

Another homeowner, 34-year-old Marlon Clarke, was at work at the time of the incident and arrived on the scene when the York Park and Half-Way Tree fire units were conducting cooling-down exercises. None of his possessions were saved. "When me hear, mi just draw fi me Bible and pray. Mi will get some help because me live good with people," Clarke said.

The sole occupant of the other house that was flattened by the blaze was still at work when our news team arrived on the scene, however, neighbours said they managed to save a few of his possessions. There were no reports of serious injuries resulting from the fire.

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