Christmas looks bleak for vendors after market fire

November 08, 2017
The gutted Ray Ray Market.
Elaine Dixon (left) explains what she lost in the fire. Looking on is another vendor, Angie Palmer.
A vendor shows her damaged goods.
Vendors at Ray Ray Market in downtown Kingston are counting their losses after yesterday's early morning fire.

Elaine Dixon, 62, who sells in the 'Ray Ray Market' in downtown Kingston says having struggled to sell goods throughout the year, she was looking forward to the spike in sales that usually accompany the Christmas season.

But now she is left penniless and without her goods because of an early-morning fire that destroyed numerous stalls and a section where barrels were stored.

"Every year dem time yah di stall dem bun dung. Every October or November, round ya bun dung and a we one affi build up back di stall dem," she told THE STAR.

When she received news of the fire that is located in the vicinity of West and Pechon streets, she said she rushed to see the damage.

"Mi walk come out a di road and beg a taxi man a drive. Mi nuh get fi eat nutten 'cause when mi hear di morning, mi run out a mi house and a somebody mi beg $100 fi buy supm fi eat since me dung ya. Mi nuh know how mi ago reach home," she said.




Dixon, who said she has been selling in the market for 44 years, said when she saw that she had lost everything, she started to cry.

"Mi shock so till me start bawl. A one girl affi hug mi up 'cause mi bawl till mi weak. Right now mi can't start fi put up a structure," she said. "From mi a 18 till mi a 62 year old, from this was dirt and wi use to use umbrella and sell til it bill up," she added.

She said that she has lost almost $100,000 worth of goods that included some that she had purchased with the assistance of her relatives.

Another vendor, Lorretta Ingram, who also said she lost everything, noted that she depends on sales to take care of her family.

"A it help mi family, you know. Mi sick mother, father and two daughters. It finance everything mi have fi too, suh mi nuh know weh mi ago do now," she explained.

Loretta Gray said, "It a come to Christmas and yu know say Christmas a di festive season and wi would mek a little thing."

But she said she will not worry too much, "Because I know that there is a God who is bigger than this and more powerful than this.

"Mi nah fret because God never fail me yet. A nuh di first mi stall a burn dung and we manage fi build back," she added.

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