Devastation as mother and son perish in fire
Close relatives and friends of Keisha Walters, the woman who perished in a fire at her home with her five-year-old son Joel in Berkshire, Westmoreland, on Monday night, were beside themselves with grief yesterday in the aftermath of the tragedy.
When THE STAR visited the community of Coffee Walk in Berkshire, dozens of relatives and friends of the popular hairdresser were gathered at the burnt-out house. Walters' elder brother Rohan Headley was distraught that he didn't get to speak to her one last time.
"Yesterday [Monday] when I was at work, my sister called me and say 'Brother, can you talk to me now?' I said 'no because mi a try to bring the patient breakfast on the ward, so give me about 10 to 15 minutes and I will get back to you'. But when I get the time and I call her, I realise that I call her over 10 times and I was not getting her, and I started to fret and wonder what is wrong with Keisha," he said.
Headley said he was sent into shock when he got a phone call yesterday morning from Walters' sister telling him that she had bad news, and that he needed to drink some water and sit down. That was when he learnt that she and her son died in the fire. Walters, 38, is remembered as a loving, kind, jovial person who was always willing to help others, while Joel was also remembered as a fun-loving child who always made everyone laugh.
Joel's teacher Viris Ricketts said the entire school community has been left traumatised over the news of his tragic passing, and that the pain is so grave that it has affected even his classmates at the Dundee Primary and Infant School,where he was in grade two.
"Joel was a very promising student, well behaved. We are taking it very hard, you know it's very hard to cope when something like this happens to a student when you know you are so close to the child. We are not taking it well, this is not an easy time for us. Even today two of his peers were crying all day and we had to call in their parents and ask them to come for them because they could not cope," the heartbroken teacher stated.
The Westmoreland police reported that about 10:40 p.m., residents summoned the Lucea police and fire department after they discovered that Walters's house was on fire. When firemen arrived, they discovered the house already engulfed in flames, and all its contents destroyed. They could only carry out cooling-down operations. The charred remains of mother and son were later discovered among the rubble and removed to the morgue for post-mortem.