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Eleven people, including a 64-year-old grandmother and her three grandchildren, aged between three and four, are now homeless following a mid-afternoon fire yesterday at Rose Hill, East Dry River, Port-of-Spain. According to fire officials, just after 2 pm a report was made to the Wrightson Road Fire Station. When officers arrived, the two storey wooden and concrete house was completely engulfed. Fire officials said that the top storey collapsed and the house could not to be saved.
Speaking with the T&T Guardian, a short distance from the spot where her home for the past 39 years once stood, Jacqueline Joseph said the fire occurred shortly after she returned home from work. Wearing her only remaining piece of clothing, a black dress with a flower pattern and a pair of blue Adidas slippers, a somber looking Joseph said although she could not save any worldly possessions she managed to save two of her prized, four-year-old twins Keyanna and Tekara Fortune. The third grandchild was at school.
Joseph recalled that she had just given her grandchildren ice cream and went to her bedroom where she saw smoke to the back of the house and thought that it was the neighbour’s house was on fire. Joseph said she was about to use her garden hose to douse the blaze when she noticed fire in the corridor and screamed for help.
“I thank God I come outside because them children was in the room (another bedroom) listening to music, they didn’t even know it had fire so them could have been trapped in the house,” Joseph said. Joseph’s son, Devon Joseph said that the family lost approximately $300,000 but was happy no lives were lost. He believed that the fire was caused by indiscriminate burning of garbage at the back of the house.
Jacqueline Joseph said she would stay by one of her sons in Diego Martin tonight and was uncertain of where she would next find a logding. The family is seeking assistance from the authorities in rebuilding their home as they have no intention to leave the area.