Eighty-year-old Beta Holder of Bullen’s Avenue, Dalkeith, St Michael is lifting her eyes to the heavens in praise after she narrowly escaped death from a fire of unknown origin today.
It was the unselfish action of her son, Paul, who ran into the burning building to get his mum out, that saved the octogenarian.
“I am thankful that I didn’t burn,” a frightened Holder told Barbados TODAY from a neighbour’s house, less than an hour after the ordeal.
“It was more than frightening because sometimes I does have a funny feeling in my heart and I just take my tablets so I had just taken them,” she added.
The blaze erupted at about 12:30 this afternoon, consuming the house Paul shared with his mum and daughter, and the home of a neighbour, Sylvon Callender, and her sons Dario and Desron Simon. Neither Callender nor her sons was home at the time. The blaze also caused a power outage in the area.
Paul had just returned to work at the headquarters of the National Union of Public Workers next door, having gone home to look after of his arthritic mother. Everything seemed fine when he left the house, but as soon as he arrived at work he was alerted to the fire.
“I came home from work and clean she foot because she got a bad foot, and then after I left home and went back to work one of the fellas tell me he see smoke coming from out by me,” Paul explained.
He told Barbados TODAY he immediately left to check on his elderly mum and “when I came across the pasture the house in the back started to burn”.
“So I ran to come . . . I was hollering for my old lady because she can’t walk properly because of her foot with arthritis,” he said.
Paul said adrenaline kicked in and he ran straight to her assistance without thinking twice about the flames.
“She was at the back door and could not get out so I had to jump over the gate out front and open the gate inside. She was in there trying to get out and she couldn’t, so I had to lift her out,” he said.
Counting his lucky stars, the concerned son said “it is a good thing that I working next door because if not all now she would have burned up in the house, cause she wouldn’t have been able to get out”.
He said the building was engulfed in flames so rapidly that he was unable to save any of the family’s worldly possessions.
“I lost everything I had. I didn’t get to save anything. Some fellas tried to run and snatch out some things in the gallery, but that is all. I lost every single thing. I have to start over fresh,” he said.
Seemingly unfazed by the situation, Paul said he now has to figure out where he will sleep tonight and how he will start all over again.
“At least I’m living and I got to save my old lady from sudden death so I can live to know that at least I saved her. I got life, I can always start over again,” he said.