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Pensioner thanks God for keeping family safe

Published: 
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Williamsville family was rendered homeless after a mysterious fire destroyed the family’s home on Saturday. Wilfred Hall, 76, broke down in tears yesterday as he described how he escaped and watched helplessly as his Williamsville home, in which seven people lived including two children, went up in flames. The pensioner of Morne Roche, visibly shaken by his near-death experience, praised God for keeping his family safe. Four generations of the Hall’s family, including his great-grandson Aaron Alexander, 3, resided in the five-bedroom concrete and wooden house. “Yes, I lucky to be alive. Thank God for that,” the elderly man said as he watched little Aaron try to help move burnt rubble.

Hall’s granddaughter, Stacy Alexander, 28, said councillor Suresh Pooran Maharaj visited the site yesterday and promised to assist with rebuilding. The foundation, she said, was saved so they could start reconstruction soon. She said hardwares in the Gasparillo area also contacted her and pledged to donate materials to assist with reconstructing the home. She said while the family was still assessing losses she estimated $75,000 worth of items including welding tools, electrical equipment, household appliances, cash and personal belongings were lost in the fire. Fire prevention investigators, she said, were yet to visit the scene to assess the cause of the blaze.

Neighbours, she said, heard loud explosions before the house burst into flames. Hall explained that around 8.30 pm on Saturday he was alone at home when he was awakened by a strange noise. “I was lying down when I hear the click, click, click and I pitch up. I wanted to know what it is. I calling the other two grandboys but, they already left to go to a thanksgiving that they father went to. I came out and was smelling smoke and when I went around the building that was the same time the roof was coming in. I called to the neighbour and he came across and said ‘Wally we cyah do nothing’ ,” Hall said. Hall said he fell while trying to escape the flames and his neighbour pulled him to safety.

The elderly man said during the week he was getting “a bad feeling” but, he believed that it was related to his son who recently bought a car. “I get signs during the week but I could not say what it was. If something is to happen to you and you is a praying soul you does know but I couldn’t say what it was. I just had a feeling come over me during the week but everything was safe,” he lamented. Alexander said fire officers on the scene could not stop the blaze since her uncle’s gas cylinders, used for welding, were exploding. Investigations are continuing. Anyone interested in assisting the family can contact Alexander at 292-2135.