Grandmother conducts frantic search for boy as fire destroys home
Six persons were left homeless after a fire ravaged a two-bedroom house in Burnside Valley, Red Hills, St Andrew, yesterday. Sonia Smith, the head of the household, says she left her bedroom, and in a matter of minutes, she saw smoke floating through the kitchen window.
She then came to the realisation that the room was on fire.
"Me lay dung on the bed and me get up and go mix cornflakes fi me grandson. Me just, just get up. By the time me go inna di kitchen for the cornflakes, me smell something. Me seh, 'A wah smell suh?' Me see smoke through the window, so me run go back inna di room and di bed weh me just get up off of, a it deh pon fire. Me nuh light nothing inna the house!" she told THE STAR.
As the fire blazed and destroyed all in its sight, she was on a frantic search to find her three-year-old grandson, who had been left alone.
"If me coulda find di baby, the place wouldn't burn down. But me call him ... me a call out him name and him nah answer. The baby neva answer me at all! So me fling dung the water and everything and run a look fi him. Me see fire on the bed and me nuh see him and me nah hear him none at all," she said, adding that the worst-case scenario went through her mind.
"Me think him deh pon the bed inna the fire. The fire a blaze up, suh me think him in deh. A dat stop me from out it cause me a look fi him same way."
As she searched for the baby, the fire blazed even more.
"A me next likkle daughter me hear... she did a do schoolwork. She run outside a look fi him, and she seh, 'Mommy, see him here!' A so she take him up and run with him," she said as she took deep breaths in between her words.
Smith called that place home for 16 years. Now, all that's left of it is debris.
"Six a we live in there, and everything gone. Me did wah save some textbooks because those important, but me couldn't save nothing. Me phone, bank book, pictures, memories, everything burn up inna di house."
By the time the firefighters from the York Park Fire Station arrived on the scene, nothing was salvageable.
"Me get me neighbour call dem, and dem reach when the place burn dung flat. It no make no sense dem did come ... the place done burn dung. It no make no sense," she said in a dismayed tone.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.