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Minister on death of girl, 4: T&T needs prayers
The tragic end of four-year-old Kimora Millette, who died in a fire on Tuesday, shows the need for collective prayers, says Minister in the Ministry of the People and Social Development Vernella Alleyne-Toppin. After a visit to the infant’s family home at Betsy Street, La Romaine, yesterday, Alleyne-Toppin said Kimora’s death was one that she would never forget. Dispelling rumours on social media that there was something spiritual claiming the lives of children, Alleyne-Toppin said sometimes unexplainable incidents occur.
“It is very unfortunate, very sad and you never know, therefore we say it is by the grace of God. I never know what will happen because I was brought up to say ‘God is in charge.’ “We cannot understand why some things happen, we just have to find a way to find peace in the promise of our Saviour. “I have gone to so many of these for the past two months and it is to me, something that tears my heart but I cannot attribute it to any other factor.
“I can say, however, that we must pray and however much you can pray and however vigilant you can be, sometimes things come and we do not understand,” Alleyne Toppin said. She said despite the spate of child deaths, she believed T&T was a prayerful nation for if it was not no one could tell what would have happened. She said her visit came as an order by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as the Government sympathised with family members during their grief.
After learning of Kimora’s death Monday night, she said she was determined to provide support for the family. Two counsellors accompanied her to the home where she met the girl’s parents—Ronan Millette and Marsha Carabana—and other relatives to provide bereavement counselling.
Alleyne-Toppin said her ministry was providing meals for Kimora’s wake and financial support for the funeral. Even the room that was destroyed by fire would be restored by the National Social Development Programme (NSDP), she said. “We also are going to use our NSDP to refurbish the burnt-out room and to make it look as bright as possible and to bring back a good feeling.
“Whatever we can do from the Ministry of the People, with respect to replacing books and uniforms and all of those things... furniture, furnishing and appliances... whatever was lost in the fire, we will do.” As preparations were being made for her funeral at 2 pm on Saturday, Kimora’s home was filled with relatives and friends expressing condolences to the family. Carabana, who became ill after learning of the child’s death, said it was too much grief to speak of the death.
Kimora death came shortly after 8 am as she and her twin sister, Kiara, were in a bedroom watching television. They were awaiting their school bus to take them to their Head Start Pre-school at Pond Street. Police said as their grandmother, Brenda Millette, tended to a customer at their parlour, Kiara ran out the room and alerted them of the fire.
Although neighbours managed to put out the fire with a bucket brigade, Kimora’s remains were found at the bedside. Autopsy results showed she died of smoke and soot inhalation.