Fire ravaged a close-knit community on the outskirts of the City on Friday, destroying four houses and leaving 22 people homeless.
Two other houses were slightly damaged, and one house sustained “medium damage”, said Acting Chief Fire Officer Henderson Patrick who reported that firefighters were hampered in combatting the blaze in 3rd Avenue Parris Gap, Westbury Road, by cars parked on the roadway.
He said three of the 22 people displaced by the fire are of “school age”.
The blaze started shortly after noon, and after receiving the call around 12:26 p.m., firefighters raced to the scene to prevent the fire from engulfing the community of crowded, mostly timber housing.
Veronica Watson, who lost her home in the blaze, said: “I was at work and somebody called my boss and told my boss to tell me to come home. So when I come [the house] was down, burn flat.”
“The representative [MP for St Michael West Christopher Gibbs] say he will try and see what he can do,” added the now homeless Watson. “I would like to get someplace to stay…. I got to get clothes and everything.”
Reporting on efforts to contain the blaze, Patrick said a fire tender from the recently opened Bridgetown Port Fire Station and another from the Arch Hall Fire Station went to the scene.
Firefighters had difficulty reaching the inferno as the narrow road was choked with parked vehicles, prompting the acting fire chief to warn civilians that their actions could put emergency workers in a difficult situation.
“I want to make an appeal again to residents that live in these very close communities, where the carriageway is not significantly wide, it would be useful sometimes if you can keep the vehicles off the road in a way that would allow emergency vehicles that are responding to be able to do that,” Patrick said.
“It is alright when nothing happens, but once you have an emergency, those vehicles need to get here to do what they have to do.” (SB)