Sat | Apr 4, 2020

Baby saved as fire devours homes

Published:Thursday | February 20, 2020 | 12:30 AM
Firefighters extinguish a fire that destroyed three homes in ‘Vietnam’, a community located off Grants Pen Drive in St Anrdew, on Wednesday. Seven people are now homeless.
Firefighters extinguish a fire that destroyed three homes in ‘Vietnam’, a community located off Grants Pen Drive in St Anrdew, on Wednesday. Seven people are now homeless.

A baby was rescued from a burning building as a raging fire yesterday consumed three homes along Grants Pen Drive in northeast St Andrew, leaving seven people homeless.

The fire brigade was summoned to the scene of the fire, which torched homes in a community known as ‘Vietnam’, about 2:44 p.m.

When The Gleaner arrived on the scene, two fire trucks were on location carrying out cooling-down operations.

The York Park and Half-Way Tree fire stations responded to the call.

Tashorna Deslandes, who was washing at the time of the fire, says her one-year-old son was inside sleeping when she heard neighbours shouting that her home was on fire.

“Mi hear somebody a shout, ‘Bring a bucket a water’, and mi run come out and see fire,” she recalled.

Deslandes told our news team that she was repelled by the inferno but a neighbour managed to rescue the baby from the building engulfed in flames.

Brigade Superintendent Julian Davis-Buckle, who is in charge of Kingston and St Andrew, told The Gleaner that there were no reports of injury.

“Ten firefighters were on location. We extinguished using one medium jet. The houses were completely destroyed. There were no injuries to either firefighters or civilians,” Davis-Buckle said.

The displaced residents said that they would seek shelter overnight while contemplating their next move.

The fire department says investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the blaze.

More than a year ago, on January 31, 2019, fire claimed the lives of two-year-old twin girls, Nahelia and Nahalia Pinnock, in a neighbouring informal settlement along Grants Pen Drive.

Three houses were also lost in that fire.