GEORGETOWN –– Quick response by neighbours averted what could have been a fiery death for two autistic brothers. The home-alone men, aged 24 and 22, were rescued by neighbours who broke into the building as fire raged in the kitchen of the occupants’ 206 Lodge Housing Scheme home yesterday, just after 8 a.m.
The fire from all accounts started as a result of a hotplate being left plugged into an electric socket in the kitchen. It ultimately destroyed the kitchen area and appliances valued at close to $1 million.
Hours earlier, their father Joseph Ferrell, a 59-year-old security guard, said he had secured his home and left for work, but hurried home after receiving a telephone call informing him that his house was on fire.
“When I get the call I run and come home and meet up with this situation of the kitchen totally destroyed,” the man said.
He reflected that his number one worry was for his two autistic sons whom he normally leaves at home alone, but his heart was relieved when he arrived and learnt they had been saved by vigilant neighbours.
One woman said that she heard shouts of “fire, fire” and looked out to see that smoke was emanating from the roof of Ferrell’s home.
“When we look out smoke was coming from the roof, so we jump the fence and started rocking the door down, but the place was grilled up tight and the smoke was coming out the roof plenty.”
Another neighbour pitched in with a crowbar that public-spirited residents managed to use to rip out a window. They then carried the men to safety.
“The two ah dem would have died for sure. Dem didn’t had no clue of what was happening because of their condition,” a young rescuer told this publication.
The father, who admitted that it is a hard task to take care of “two autistic children”, was in high praise of the neighbours for saving his sons.
The fire was doused by residents before the fire tender arrived. After a thorough examination by ambulatory officials it was concluded that the men were in no way harmed by either the flames or the smoke.