Vendors plea for help after Redemption Arcade fire

June 14, 2017
Vendors going through the rubble following the fire at the Redemption Arcade in downtown Kingston yesterday.

Sitting among the burnt commercial goods drenched by water from firefighters' hoses in the Redemption Arcade in downtown Kingston yesterday, vendor Icyline Henry, 78, remembers the other two times fire destroyed all her goods in an arcade in the capital.

She was never compensated, and said she hopes that experience the first two times at the Jubilee Arcade, does not recur.

A section of the Redemption Arcade went up in flames late Monday evening leaving many vendors, like Henry, in a state of despair.

They said they are hoping the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation will compensate them for their losses.

"We are paying rent ... so they should come and talk to us," said Henry, who has been a vendor all her adult life. She pays $2,000 for rent weekly to the corporation.

She said: "This is my only means of income and I help out with my grandchildren whose father is dead, so I need to be selling."

Superintendent at the York Park Fire Station, Kevin Haughton, said the cause for the fire has not yet been ascertained.

"We hear the speculations that there could be some electrical issues and we note it on our records," Haughton said.

Another vendor who is pregnant with her seventh child, wailed as she came to terms with the reality.

"This is weh mi do to send dem go school," single mother Ann-marie Scott said with tears streaming down her face.

The 36 year-old said she is calling on the Mayor of Kingston to help her get back on her feet.

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