About a dozen people are now homeless after a fire flattened one wall house and adjoining shop and extensively damaged another home at Olive Drive, Crane, St Philip.
Just after midday, members of the close-knit community poured out of their houses to lend moral support to their neighbors who watched in disbelief as the four-bedroom wooden house burned to the ground. Some of the affected cried uncontrollably while others stared helplessly as their homes went up in flames.
The home was owned and occupied by Karen Haynes and her husband and they shared it with four children and a grandchild.
At the house where the fire reportedly started, there was absolutely nothing left except charred earth and fire officers on the scene told Barbados TODAY the task of controlling the fire, which started just after 11 a.m., was extremely daunting.
Trevor Haynes, whose house was extensively damaged and left uninhabitable, testified to the insurmountable task of single-handedly attempting to contain the blaze.
“It was at about a quarter past 11 or so and my wife said ‘there’s a fire next door’. So I just got up and saw the big set of smoke and I went with my hose to start wetting my house for about half hour before the fire got to my house.
“It was frightening. Everything was happening all at once and I never thought I would experience anything like this, but it’s something that could happen to anybody,” said Haynes.
After minutes off warding of the deadly force, he realized it was in his and his wife Suzette’s best interest as well as the rest of his family to leave his worldly possessions and secure life and health.
“We were keeping it off but the fire eventually got too hot for us. We tried to save as much as we could,” he said.
“It is an experience that I would never like to go through again and it is really heartbreaking right now,” he said, while revealing that he had not yet broken the news to his three children, who were still at school.
Thankfully, Haynes said numerous relatives were willing to accommodate the family as they began the long process of getting back on their feet. He said his brother, who also lived next door with his wife and five other relatives, would be looking to do the same.
Division Officer Mervin Mayers revealed that three fire tenders from the Bridgetown, St John and Worthing stations were tasked with controlling the blaze. He added that swift work by the officers prevented the fire from destroying a third house, which sustained minor damage.
“There are also two vehicles; one is damaged and the other, which was under repairs, was completely destroyed,” he further revealed. The vehicle which was under repairs was owned by Melissa Haynes.
In light of the recent upsurge in fires, the divisional officer pleaded with Barbadians to be extremely cautious.
“I would like to advise the public to pay more attention to their surroundings, especially in times like these. Things are hard and after losing your home, it is extremely difficult to get another one. So we need to take every precaution to make sure that our homes are safe from fire and any other emergency whatsoever.”