Four members of a family – including two children – are in need of assistance after their house was gutted by a fire, which is suspected to have been caused by a candle that was lit during a protracted power outage at Mason River district in Clarendon.
All occupants narrowly escaped the blaze, which quickly spread throughout the uninsured concrete house comprising three bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, and a living room.
“The concrete structure is standing still, but all of the board that hold up the roof, windows and doors burn off,” according to one of the victims, Molannie Budram.
She told The Beacon that the other items destroyed included clothes, four beds, a chest of draws, a settee, refrigerator, television set, whatnot, and a six-burner stove that she bought on hire purchase and is yet to fully pay for.
Budram, who operates a small cook-shop at Mason River, recalled leaving the business establishment and going home with two candles during the power cut on Tuesday night, November 9.
“I light the two candles because the kids were scared. My boyfriend said he put out one, but it seems like I didn’t out the one in the kitchen,” she further said.
Budram stated that, when she woke up before daylight on November 10, she heard strange sounds, but didn’t realize that it was the house ablaze.
Her boyfriend realized what was happening and made an alarm, resulting in the family rushing out of bed and frantically trying to escape.
“When I run out [of my room] and got the children, I saw them on the bed sleeping and I grabbed them and put them outside. Because outside was dark, they ran back inside. I draw them and tell them go outside; they didn’t realize the house was on fire,” Budram explained. Her son is five years old and her daughter eight.
Budram added that she is still traumatized especially when she considers that the entire family perhaps would have been dead if she had slept for an additional five minutes.
Budram recalled crying out for help in the community. Residents showed up, but they were unable to fight the monstrous blaze.
Fire personnel, who are said to be stationed at Frankfield in the parish, arrived on the scene about 3AM, but the damage was already done, Budram further said.
She is now staying with one of her brothers temporarily.
Persons wishing to assist the family can call or WhatsApp The Jamaica Beacon (876-305-4574) for her contact information.
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