Fri | Jun 5, 2020

63-y-o makes dramatic escape as fire guts home

Published:Monday | May 11, 2020 | 12:22 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Clayton Wright, 63, shows a burn to his back while seated on the verandah of his neighbour’s home on West Avenue, central Kingston, on Sunday. Wright’s neighbour’s kindness has provided refuge until alternative living arrangements can be organised.
Clayton Wright, 63, shows a burn to his back while seated on the verandah of his neighbour’s home on West Avenue, central Kingston, on Sunday. Wright’s neighbour’s kindness has provided refuge until alternative living arrangements can be organised.

Sixty-three-year-old Clayton Wright was asleep inside his one-bedroom home on West Avenue in central Kingston on Saturday, shortly after midnight, when he was jolted from his slumber as fire singed the top of his head.

Wright, who walks with the aid of cane, dashed from his bed as the building became engulfed in flames.

“MI a sleep, and mi feel a heat inna mi head. When mi jump up, a pure blue flame mi see a come out a di wall,” he said on Sunday, explaining that the fire had caused a section of the wall inside his one-bedroom concrete home to collapse.

Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday from a neighbour’s house where he has been staying for the last two days, Wright recalled doing what was next to impossible in a bid to save his life. With a slight smile, he showed his upper back that still bears scars from the midnight ordeal.

“Mi kick di door open and come out. When mi go outside fi catch water fi come back, di whole place catch fire,” he told The Gleaner.

“Mi couldn’t even go eeen. Mi cyaa walk, you know, but mi did affi run and jump pon a car.”

Police and fire authorities are conducting investigations.

Wright said that People’s National Party councillor for the Allman Town division, Charmaine Daniels, had offered some assistance but that he is still appealing for help to replace much of his belongings that were destroyed in the fire.

Among the items destroyed were a refrigerator, television, microwave, and bed. Another building located on the premises at 17 West Avenue, but behind Wright’s home, was also razed.

Daniels confirmed to The Gleaner yesterday that she visited him, replacing the walking stick that was burnt and giving him money to buy food. She promised to check in on him periodically.

“I gave him a walking stick because him say him don’t have a wheelchair. ... The neighbours he is staying with now say they won’t rush him,” she said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com