A midday fire today destroyed one house in Jessamine Avenue, St Michael, and damaging two others, leaving one man and his son homeless.
And Ricky Boyce can count himself lucky, as it was the voice of his aunt, Laurine Boyce, calling out his name that snapped him from his siesta and almost certainly saved his life.
Laurine, whose house was also damaged by the fire, told Barbados TODAY it was just before midday when she heard what she thought was a tool on in her son’s workshop.
However, her curiosity led her to investigate the sound, and to the discovery of the blaze.
“I was at home washing when I heard this ‘shhhh’ and at first I thought it was my son who left on something in his workshop, so I went in the workshop to see, and when I got outside I saw this fire and I just started screaming for my niece, ‘Angela, Angela, fire, fire’ and then I tried to get out through the back gate and heard a noise from by my nephew house Ricky and I start screaming, ‘Ricky, Ricky, fire, fire,’” she recalled.
This may have saved Ricky’s life, but the distraught father was unable to save any of his belongings.
It was just last Sunday that Ricky had assisted other residents in a community clean up just outside his home, and now the community was rallying around him.
Acting Divisional Officer of the Barbados Fire Service Henderson Patrick was so impressed with the community response that he took the time to thank the young men who assisted.
“On behalf of our fire department I want to thank you for the tremendous work that you did in assisting the residents in getting their belongings out of their house. Some of you got your own hose and assisted the firemen and all of that lent to the final outcome that we got today. If you had not done what you did it probably would have been worse,” Patrick said.
About ten young men between the ages of 17-27 who were liming not far away saw the smoke and ran up the gap to help.
While some tried to save the contents of the two damaged houses, others got hoses to try to put out the fire.
Three fire tenders and 16 officers from the Bridgetown and Worthing fire stations responded to the call, and an ambulance was also summoned after a young women complained of difficulty breathing.