For seconds Taneisha Alleyne-Mahon battled with smoke and flames to save her first-born Tazari Mahon during a house fire in Westchester County in the United States, late October while they were on holiday.
But she was not successful. The elements were so strong; they did not allow her to. He died from smoke inhalation.
Yesterday, after a memorial service held in memory of the child, at St Augustine Parish Church, in a composed state, visibly grieving, the mother told Barbados TODAY during an exclusive interview that she would never forget the night, which happened suddenly, within the blink of an eye.
“It was just after 8 [p.m.] and we had now gone to sleep and I just jumped up at minutes past nine and the whole room was just on fire and there was bare smoke.
“I couldn’t see anything. I tried to get Tazari but the flames were too much. I went outside to get some help but then the whole house was smoking and nobody couldn’t get back in to rescue him,” she recalled.
Alleyne-Mahon said because she suffered burns to her face, legs, back and hands she was rushed to the Westchester Medical Centre by ambulance.
It was there she received the tragic, heart wrenching news that her son perished in the fire.
“All I could have done was break down and cry. He was sleeping through all of that and the officer said he didn’t suffer. He just died in his sleep because of smoke inhalation,” she said.
While noting that she was deeply hurting over losing her loved one who she buried at Coral Ridge, Christ Church on November 15, she believed God woke her up just in time.
“I don’t know what happen. I just woke up suddenly. My grandmother said probably that is God that wake me and I didn’t wake myself. I just jumped up and the whole roof, all the clothes and everything was just on fire. Today, she is here for Tazari’s one-year-old sister Taliyah who was in Barbados at the time of the incident.
“God is who lead me out of there because I didn’t lead myself. Had not for God I wouldn’t get out of there or I wouldn’t have waken up. It was so much smoke and flames that I ended up rolling down the stairs trying to get out,” she said.
Along with his bright smile, the mother said her son was a sweet and loving child who loved playing outdoors and never really appreciated being behind closed doors.
“He was just having a good vacation until that happened. Even when we went to the Mall Zari was running up and down.”
Alleyne-Mahon said her deceased son’s father, an employee at the Barbados Transport Board, was also torn apart and shed tears on Tuesday when he had to take students of the pre-school his son attended on a tour.
“Over in New York the authorities were nice. They made sure I get an emergency passport to get back home. The American Red Cross and Counsel General helped. The funeral home over there did everything for us for free. We are very thankful for all the help and support.”
Media reports from The Journal News in Greenburgh, United States, said frantic family members, who fled the burning Elmsford house late Saturday, tried to re-enter to search for the missing toddler visiting from Barbados – but were pushed back by the conflagaration. The reports said firefighters, who were told the two-year- old boy was on the second floor at 107 Sears Avenue, also desperately tried to find the boy until the roof caved in on them.