Three homeless after fire
RALBERT ASHTON STARED in disbelief at the fire-gutted home he shared with his father and sister at Six Men’s, St Peter.
It was just after 7 a.m. yesterday when a fire of unknown origin devoured the uninsured three-bedroom wood and wall house Ashton has called home for most of his 46 years.
“I am not sure what happened. I just heard the commotion and tried to get out as quickly as I could. That was around 7/7:30. There were two of us in the house at the time of the fire – myself and my father 72-year-old Jeremiah Williams,” he said, Ssaring straight ahead.
“The only thing we managed to save was our lives. I didn’t even have a shirt on my back. I ran outside in my boxers.”
While he did not know where they would be staying, he said representatives from both the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) had reached out to him.
“We’re trying to get things sorted out, but it’s not easy. My dad is on his way to the hospital. He had to seek medical attention after inhaling smoke. I spoke to representatives [Dave Cumberbatch of the DLP and the BLP’s Colin Jordan] from both parties and they say they will try to assist me any way they could.”
Eighty-eight-year-old Keith Scantlebury, who lived next door, also received some damage to his home.
Describing the fire as fierce, he said there was nothing he could do to help he situation as he used a cane to get around.
“I was in bed listening to the radio, and I hear popping . . . but I didn’t expect it ’round here. And then the fella from next door, Junior, climbed through the window to find me, because he thought I was still sleeping. He tell me get out the house that next door on fire,” Scantlebury added.
While the windows along the back of his house were broken, and part of the ceiling and pipes damaged, he said he was concerned when he heard that Williams’ daughter was still in the house.
“I heard that the daughter was in there – she’s blind – but thank God she wasn’t there after all. She was probably staying with one of her sisters or something . . . . We didn’t make no attempt to do nothing [or save anything] because it was too fierce,” he said.
Two fire tenders from Bridgetown and Arch Hall fire stations, along with eight fire officers under the command of acting Station Officer Trevor Cadogan, responded. (RA)