Children escape suspected arson attack
Some of the merriment of the festive season was snatched from several residents of Cleveland Road in east Kingston on Thursday, after unknown assailants threw 'bottle bombs' into their yard.
The look of despair was strewn across the faces of those who called the premises home, as gang warfare continues to affect the livelihood and safety of residents in the area. Seven adults and five children have been left homeless.
"Me feel a way fi know say innocent people affi get drawn into the war and dem want to burn us out. Me feel sad man but me just leave dem to God," one female occupant of the premises said, her voice cracking. The woman said she was in the Corporate Area conducting business when she received the shocking phone call. She told the news team that she initially panicked hearing that the place she called home for almost three decades was on fire, but decided to pray.
Her home was not drastically affected by the fire, however, she is particularly grateful because her daughter and grandson could have lost their lives, had it not been for their assertiveness. THE WEEKEND STAR learned that the children were alone at home when they smelled smoke and heard a window being broken.
"It happen before, enuh. Dem try bokkle boom me house inna September and we affi run weh. We just come back because dem say everything cool down and this a weh dem do," she shared further.
At the rear of the building where the fire was centred, firefighters faced an army of angry bees. About 12 boxes of bees, property of a beekeeper who also lived on the premises, were affected by the inferno.
Acting district officer Elvinston Davis of the York Park Fire Station told the news team that the insects did not pose a challenge to the cooling-down operations.
"Some persons went on the roof or another section of the property and we just did what we had to," Davis said.
Two units from York Park responded to a call at 2:40 p.m. A one-bedroom dwelling at the rear of the building was destroyed, while there was minor damage to the other sections.
Despite the fire, the woman said she is still optimistic that Christmas celebrations will be festive.
"I just have to give God thanks," she declared.