New Orleans, St Michael resident Diana Stuart can count herself lucky, even as she ponders her next move after fire destroyed her timber and wall home early Saturday morning.
Stuart said she and her family lost everything in the fire and had no idea how she would rise from the ashes.
But the situation could have been catastrophic had it not been for a neighbour who alerted a sleeping and unsuspecting Stuart of a raging blaze at a house next door in the early hours of the morning.
“When the fire broke out it was after 2 a.m. and I was at home sleeping. I heard my neighbour Omar Marshall was shouting for ‘Diana, Diana, Diana, wake up’ and in the time I got up between sleep and wake I opened the front door. When I opened he told me the house next door burning. At first I thought it was my mother’s boyfriend’s car that was on fire.
“When I looked good I realized there was so much fire in the house next door, they went and wake up my neighbours to come and assist us with the fire. By the time they came and went in the bedroom to pull out the bed, the fire burst out from the other house and hit my bedroom. All the glass broke out so we had to run out the house,” the 42-year-old Stuart told Barbados TODAY.
Stuart lived at the house with her mother, her two daughters, her grandson, her daughter’s father and mother’s boyfriend. She said after they realized nothing could be saved they went on to help save her neighbour’s house.
“After then the rest of neighbours came over to assist us . . . .We then had to look to save my neighbour’s house now. The side of their house was scorched. The lady in front of me her glass windows were broken as well.”
For the time being, they have sought shelter at family members, but the unemployed Stuart said she was eager to rebuild.
“Right now my mother, myself and my last daughter are staying by my aunt and my big daughter is staying at her father’s house. I am appealing for some help to get the house rebuilt. Anyone that can help I would really appreciate it so we all can be back home again,” she said.
Despite losing everything, Stuart said she would be forever grateful to her neighbours who assisted her, particularly Marshall who saved her life.
“I just want to thank all my neighbours who came out to help me and my family at that time in the morning. We are appreciative of everything. Thanks to everyone who sent food, clothes, prayers and everything for us as well. Special thanks to Omar Marshall. He is the one who woke us up to alert us. Had not for him we would be not here,” she said.
Stuart has already been in contact with Member of Parliament for The City Jeffrey Bostic, as former MP and Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister Patrick Todd seeking assistance, with both promising to assist.