Son rescues mum from fire
Eighty-year-old Beata Holder-Alleyne is both a sad and happy woman.
She is sad because she lost her wood and wall house in Bullen’s Avenue, Dalkeith, St Michael, and all its contents to a fire yesterday. And she’s happy because she was rescued by her son Paul from what looked like a fiery death when the blaze struck around 12:57 p.m.
“I did not even know what went down. My son come home for lunch and he tell me, ‘Mummy, I gine back over because it getting late’, and then I here by myself and I hear people hitting down the house, but I did not have a stove burning. I ain’t cook today because I does cook for two days.
“If I want to warm something I warm it in the microwave, I don’t know what happened,” she said.
Paul, a general worker at the nearby National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), came to her rescue.
“I work over at the NUPW (a stone’s throw away from his home) and my workmates told me that I should go home because they can see some smoke, and to go and check on the house.
“When I come cross I had to jump over the gate and went inside. I lift out my mother and bring her out of the house. She was inside the back door and could not get out. Because of her foot it was hard for her to step out,” he recalled.
He was not sure of his next move.
“My little girl, five-year-old Tiara, lived there too and she ain’t got nothing. All the school clothes and books burn. It is a good thing that she is going to another school in September,” said Paul.
Holder-Alleyne’s home was one of two destroyed. Living in the second house were general worker Sylvonne Callender, who was said to be at work, and her sons – 14-year-old Dario Simon, who was at home, and 25-year-old Desron Simon.
Station Officer Wayne Vaughan of the Barbados Fire Service praised his team for “being able to contain the fire, especially in this densely populated area, to only two structures”.
Kirk Humphrey, Member of Parliament for St Michael South, was on the scene and said: “I have already contacted the Welfare Department and the idea is just to see if we can get them a place to stay the night if they can’t stay by friends or family, and then let the system kick in and help them tomorrow [today].”
Nineteen-year-old Shemar Boyce, of Jessamy Lane, Beckles Road, St Michael, who lost his home to fire last September, was in the area and helped to retrieve a television set from one of the burning houses.
Boyce, who was awarded for bravery last year, said he knew the feeling of losing a home “so whenever I see a house burning, I know that I have to get there”. (JS)