PORT OF SPAIN –– Neighbourly love and a commitment from the San Fernando Mayor has given hope to the victims of a Boxing Day fire which left 28 people in Marabella homeless.
The T&T Guardian visited the site of the fire Saturday, where an excavator remained parked to continue clearing debris this morning.
On Boxing Day, a four-year-old boy, praying for his father in prison, dropped a lighted candle on a mattress in one of the apartments.
The flames destroyed the four-apartment structure and spread to houses on either sides of his home.
One of the affected residents, Gerard Joseph said that so far, the families have been assured that construction will begin within one month’s time.
“We just waiting for them to finish clear up the place, so we could start organising to rebuild,” he said.
San Fernando Mayor, Junia Regrello and the San Fernando City Corporation have pledged to assist with materials for the new homes.
Joseph said in the interim, the families have their neighbours to rely on.
“The neighbours have opened their homes to us, nobody is staying in the basketball court again. This community . . . they say bad things about here, but I grow here and I know it have love right here. I don’t know what they seeing from the outside, but what they saying is not what I does be seeing everyday.”
But while Joseph remains optimistic, mother of two Nandy Williams said she ‘red tape’ was frustrating her rebuilding process.
“They expect me to have documents for everything that I lost in the fire, when the documents burn up with the things too,” she said yesterday.
“My mother and my uncle getting through with their things but I getting real problems to get back the stuff I lost.”
She is once again appealing to the authorities to assist her.
“School starting tomorrow [today] and I don’t know how I sending my children cause everything they had get burn up, I am just asking someone in authority to step up and give me some assistance right now.”