An elderly woman and a child were rescued from a burning house just after four this afternoon by officers from the Barbados Fire Service, much to the relief of neighbours.
Residents of 2nd Avenue Peterkin Gardens, Bank Hall, St Michael were worried that 72-year-old Lucy Alexander and five-year-old Jaden had succumbed to the blaze after they stopped hearing their cries.
However, they were relieved when the two were carried out alive in the arms of fire officers.
They were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance for observation after suffering from smoke inhalation.
Beverley Armstrong, who sounded the alarm, said she had just arrived home from work when she saw billows of smoke coming from the roof and windows of the house,
and heard terrifying screams for help.
Armstrong said she rushed to the house next door and banged on the door but no one was home so she ran to the home of an elderly neighbour who rang the emergency services. She then went in search of the five-year-old’s father.
“I heard the voice screaming and I knew somebody had to be there. The house was fully engulfed in smoke and I knew someone was in there and I ran for help,” she recalled.
Armstrong said she was the only person walking through the gap when she made the discovery, and she thanked God she had changed her mind about a planned stop.
“I was the only person through here. After, I said it was the spirit of God who sent me through here. I was going to stop and buy food but I said, ‘let me come home and put down my bag first’.
“When I went for the father he come and was trying to get in but that was too much smoke so he couldn’t get in. I was even trying to get in. They could have died in there.
“They were screaming and screaming for a while. I heard the grandmother hollering for Jaden all the time. Then at one stage you couldn’t hear he or she hollering. We start to get frighten because we thought them did gone.”
Another resident, Marcia Greenidge, added that several neighbours attempted to rescue the occupants but were repelled by the heat.
“The fellas [were] trying to get in but every time they tried the fire burst out and because of the heat they had to run,” Greenidge said.
The owner of the house, Alexander’s daughter and Jaden’s grandmother, Cecilia, was visibly shaken and too distraught to engage in a lengthy conversation. However, she said she was at work when she got the call that the house was ablaze, but was assured that her mother and grandson were safe.
Most of the damage was confined to the front of the insured house and Cecilia said she was counting her blessings that she would not have to ring in 2016 without her loved ones.
“It could have been worse. I mean I lost things, but my family is alright,” she said quietly, her eyes filled with tears.
Acting Divisional Officer of the Barbados Fire Service Gordon Boxill told Barbados TODAY that the call came at 4:29 p.m. and when they arrived on the scene the fire was raging.
“The team had to do a force entry and rescue two persons from the building. They then brought the fire under control. Those two persons were placed in [an] ambulance . . . and went off to the hospital,” Boxill said.