An elderly resident of Halls Road, St Michael had to be rushed to hospital by ambulance after she was rescued from her burning house this evening.
The fire, which started just before 5 p.m., destroyed two houses and damaged two others, leaving a total of six people homeless.
The blaze allegedly started at the house of the elderly woman, Clementina Joseph.
Her neighbour Althea Charles, who was one of the four occupants in the second property which was burnt to the ground, told Barbados TODAY she was sewing when her mother and sister alerted her that the neighbour’s house was on fire.
It was then that her stepfather attempted to get a hose. However, Charles recalled that the fire spread quickly and
“literally started to engulfed our house”.
“By that time some of the guys from the neighbourhood were also trying to run in to help take out things, but the smoke started to come in. So instantly it was like, ‘just get out’ . . . .
“The amazing thing is that we didn’t smell anything . . . [but in the midst of] all the commotion, I heard someone say, ‘they got the old lady out’.
Charles said she also heard her mother telling her sister, who is in medical school, to get her computer. However, she lamented,” “we couldn’t save anything” and the family lost all their belongings.
Nevertheless, she was grateful that they all escaped unharmed and that their elderly neighbour, who shared her house with her son who was not at home at the time, was alive.
Quick action by Fabian Jean, Zoe King and Jamal Worrell led to the old lady’s rescue and prevented the fire from spreading.
Jean told reporters that immediately after he was notified about the blaze, he swung into action.
“As soon as I get down here I holler for the old woman in the house and we got [her] out,” he said.
King, who is also from the area, was happy that they were able to get Joseph out of her home alive, although he acknowledged that she did have a few burns on her hand.
Worrell, whose mother lives close by, said he played a role in “wetting down the old woman’s house and paling so the fire couldn’t spread.
“It would have hurt my heart if my mother house burn down. I don’t know how I would sleep tonight. I [couldn’t] take that,” he said.
Member of Parliament for the area Richard Sealy was at the scene, so too Opposition candidate David Gill. The Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett was also on hand to offer assistance in the form of temporary housing and other immediate needs to those affected.
Though saddened by the loss of property, Sealy said he was heartened by the community response to the blaze.
“The young men were able to save an elderly women from death and she is now in hospital nursing burns. I am happy that it is not worse because these houses are close to each other,” he said.
Ten fire officers under the command of acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer Lloydson Phillips responded to the blaze after receiving the call just before 5 p.m. Officials from the Barbados Light & Power were also on hand.