(Picture by Reco Moore.)
by DAVANDRA BABB [email protected] @davandra_nationbb
CHILLING SCREAMS for help by Eric Fenty from inside his burning house late Monday night, will forever ring in the ears of Fabian ‘Parker’ McDonald.
Despite McDonald’s best efforts, he was unable to save Fenty from the fire and the 76-year-old perished inside the timber and wall house at Kew Road, Bank Hall, St Michael, which was destroyed. Police said they responded to the incident around 11:20 p.m.
McDonald, in recounted the tragedy, told the MIDWEEK NATION it was a scene which would replay in his mind for a very long time.
“I was going over the hill and I saw the two bedroom windows were bright orange. So I say, ‘Wait, what going on there? This is fire?’ The closer I got to the house, I heard him screaming and then I heard thumps in the house as though he fell trying to get away from the fire,” he said.
McDonald said his first instinct was to kick down the door and pull Fenty out, but it was locked.
“I went around the side which I knew had louvres, so I started to break some off and put my hand inside to feel for the lock to see if I could open it. But they were deadbolts and didn’t have the keys inside so I couldn’t get it,” he added.
Failing to get in, McDonald said he started to scream to alert the neighbours to what was going on, while still trying his best to get inside the home.
Puff of smoke
“Just as I was ripping out the other louvres and about to go through, a big puff of smoke came back and hit me. Some flames started to come through, so I told myself it didn’t make sense going in because I couldn’t see where I was going.”
The 38-year-old, short with a small frame, said he decided to give it one last shot to get the elderly man out.
“I went back around to the bedroom window side and his hands were out through the window, and a guy was holding it and telling me come and help pull him out.
“The same side was full of flames as well. Holding him was like dead weight. I contemplated putting my body through the window and try to put him out, but the smoke and flames rushed to my face suddenly and I had no choice but to let him go,” he said, while holding his head.
“It’s really sad. Everything happened so fast. In less than three minutes everything was just chaotic. It’s a serious loss and really hurtful to see him go that way. A couple of the guys came a little after me and were also trying to see if they could get in, but we couldn’t,” he said.
Phillip Holder, who has been living in the area since 2004, said he was shocked to see how quickly the house burnt. He also praised McDonald for his valiant efforts.
“It burnt for about 15 to 20 minutes. I never saw a house burn so fast in my life. There was no time to do anything.
“‘Parker’ tried to lift him through the window. Then the flames hit him in his face, so the only thing he could do was drop him and fly back. Then they tried to lick down the door but they couldn’t get in, so there was nothing else to do,” he added.
Another resident, who asked not to be identified, said he was hurt to see what happened to his long-time friend Fenty.
“They said they heard the screams but they just couldn’t get him out. That had to be really hurtful. When I get there, they were trying to out the fire. Then I saw the charred remains after the police came. There needs to be something done to assist elderly persons living alone,” he said.
Fenty’s brother Alphonso Fenty, who resides in the United Kingdom (UK), did not take the news of his brother’s passing very well.
Neighbour Joyanne Jordan said she made contact with her sister in the UK who was also Fenty’s neighbour, who relayed the news to him.
“He’s in his 90s now and doesn’t hear well. He’s very shaken up by the news of his brother’s passing,” Jordan said.
ERIC FENTY PERISHED in an early morning blaze at his home in Kew Road, Bank Hall, St Michael.
FABIAN MCDONALD said the chilling screams from Eric Fenty will stay with him for a very long time.
(Picture by Krystal Hoyte.)