The destructive force of fire, last night rendered futile the most valiant efforts by Bush Hall residents to free two of their neighbors from a burning house.
Hours after Barbara Ira Forde 82, and her son 53-year-old Carlton Forde perished in a late night blaze, neighbors stood bewildered outside the structure, which less than 24-hours before, was a wood and wall, three bedroom house.
Police say their investigations are at a sensitive stage and there is no clear indication of what may have been responsible for the blaze.
Neighbors recalled unsuccessfully attempting to pry their way through the front door of the 1st Avenue, Alleyne’s Land home. Unfortunately, they would find themselves listening in terror as loud cries became faint whispers.
“It was chaos and I could actually hear them attempting to get out. It’s a very bad experience that I would never wish on anyone. Human lives were at stake,” recalled Gregory Blenman, a next door neighbor whose house was partially damaged in the fire.
“I even had to abort my ship [house]. I couldn’t stay here any longer because the wires in here and everything started to catch. It was just traumatic and mad.”
Still shaken from the incident, Blenman revealed the raging fire had taken no more than 30 minutes to totally demolish the house.
“I was watching television and then I heard the guys from the top of the gap shouting at me and telling me ‘smoke, smoke, smoke!’” he recounted.
“From the time I rushed from the chair to the front door I saw red-like fire. I rushed through the door to get my hose and they were actually trying to save her [Barbara Forde] by getting into the house, but to no avail. The fire came forward so quickly and the heat, smoke and everything was so intense that we eventually had to give up.”
On Sunday morning, pockets of smoke were still rising slowly and few items in the flattened house could be recognized, including a washing machine and a few articles of clothing. In the road were the charred remnants of a white van, which Carlton, a former taxi driver once used to make a living.
Neighbors remembered the mother and son as having a very cordial relationship with each other and those around them, characteristic of their community – Bush Hall.
Barbados TODAY understands Barbara Forde suffered with dementia and was “pretty ill”.
Earlier in the day, family members were reportedly on the scene, including some of the deceased woman’s children, collectively coming to grips with the tragic loss. (KS)