Putting the pieces back together - woman pleads for help after house crumbles

May 11, 2017
The collapsed walls of the house in Parry Town.
Residents look at the dislodged roof of the dwelling.

After feeling the house she had worked all her life to build literally crumble from beneath her feet, Chemeita Smith, 49, is looking to put the pieces back together.

"I am hoping that Mr Bell (councillor) and Lisa Hanna (member of parliament) will come through with their promises, cause is a young man stop his house to ply up something for us to live in," Smith told THE STAR.

The dressmaker from Parry Town, St Ann, now lives in a makeshift home with three of her six children and is worried she may have become a nuisance to her neighbour, who put building his home on hold to provide a temporary home for Smith.


Crushing her


On April 23, while in the shower getting ready for church, Smith's two-storey house fell off the three columns that held its weight. When her son pulled her from under the rumbles, she realised that it was a barrel with towels that prevented the concrete roof from crushing her.

"I was trapped under a big piece of concrete and I don't know where he found the strength, but him push it off me and took a towel from the barrel and wrap it round mi because I was naked," Smith recalled.

The sewing machine that she had been using to earn a living all her life was completely destroyed in the ordeal. She told THE STAR that losing her means of income has crippled her chances of starting to get back on her feet, therefore, she is seeking the public's assistance to do so.

"My kids help in the best way that they can, but most of what they give me, I use to send the younger ones to school. I can't do any dressmaking because the machine gone," Smith said.


Start rebuilding


Smith reckons that she suffered damages amounting to more than $5 million in the incident.

"Apart from losing all the furniture and the house, we also lost a car," Smith said.

But there is some hope on the horizon for Smith. Ian Bell, councillor for the Beecher Town division told THE STAR that there are plans to use the Labour Day Project Fund to start the rebuilding of Smith's house.

"$200,000 will be coming from the constituency Labour Day Project Fund. We will be doing some preparation work prior to Labour Day," Bell said.

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