Christmas celebrations in the close-knit community of Haynesville, St James, came to a tragic end in the wee hours of Boxing Day.
Fire destroyed the home of, 48-year-old, Sinclair Alleyne and damaged two neighbouring housing units.
A distraught Alleyne told Barbados TODAY he was not at home during the blaze. He received the bad news from his brother.
Nikita Clarke who lives next to Alleyne recounted that she was jolted from her sleep when a neighbour started shouting that smoke was coming from the upstairs of the Alleyne’s home.
Clarke who revealed that the walls and floors of her unit were damaged said it was a bittersweet end to her Christmas celebrations.
“You make sure your house looks a sort of way and then something like this happens,” Clark said as she blamed the incident on poor electrical wiring.
This was third fire in the community for the year and it brought back painful memories for Rosalind McCollin who lost the majority of her home to fire in April 2015.
“I had cold bumps all over me when I came out here and I see how this house and thing gone. These houses need to be upgraded, don’t wait until tomorrow, next year, two years or three years . . . because it is going to get worst,” McCollin lamented.
Opposition Barbados Labour Party candidate for the area, Sandra Husbands, was on the scene when a Barbados TODAY team visited.
She charged that tenants had been ignored despite a petition bearing close to 200 signatures demanding that the National Housing Corporation made rewiring of the Haynesville units a priority.
“The Government has a responsibility to act with integrity towards the wellbeing of the citizens, they need to get up and do their job. This is not good enough,” she said.
Member of Parliament for the area Donville Inniss was also present today and he acknowledged that there was need for the electrical system to be upgraded. However he explained that 75 percent of the units were now owned by their occupants.
“The legal issue remains of who will be responsible for matters such as maintenance and property insurance and such like. That is the grey area right there,” Inniss said.