Massive fire ravages Haitian village
Hundreds of Haitian nationals were left with only the clothes on their backs after a raging fire destroyed their homes on Sunday.
According to police the blaze ripped through a shantytown located on Alan Drive, off Carmichael Road, destroying approximately 100 homes in a matter of six hours.
The fire started sometime around 10.30 a.m. Some six fire trucks were dispatched to the scene and more than 25 firefighters battled the blaze before bringing it under control.
Information reachingThe Nassau Guardianrevealed that some 200 people were living in the Haitian village. Luckily, there were no injuries.
Fire Services Director Superintendent Jeffrey Deleveaux described the incident as a”human tragedy.”
He explained that the strong winds and limited access to the village made fighting the blaze a challenge.
“On arrival we met several of the small shanty houses on fire and the wind was blowing in the opposite direction of the houses. It spread rapidly through the community,”Deleveaux said.
“It was very difficult to reach because there was no access road to get to the rear of these buildings where the fire first started. After we brought it under control, we realized that about 80 to 100 homes were destroyed leaving a large amount of people homeless,”he said.
Up to press time Deleveaux said the department had no idea what caused the fire. However, he noted that information received by the department suggests that the blaze may have started in one of the small homes that sat on the edge of a forest.
“Everybody was running around, scrambling trying to save what they could but the fire spread so fast it was impossible,”said Joyce Evans, who witnessed the fire.”It was like the fire was jumping from one structure to another. It is a miracle no one was injured,”Evans said.
One resident, who identified herself as Marlinese, toldThe Guardianthat everything she owned was destroyed in the fire.
With tears streaming down her face, she said she had nowhere to turn and no one to go to.
“I lost everything. Everything gone. I have nowhere to go,”she said.
Like Marlinese, that was the cry of many of the residents. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the residents running to their homes screaming and trying to salvage anything they could. Some were seen tugging mattresses and other household items.
Pastor of the Haitian Seventh Day Adventist Church Edward St. Fleur called on the family members of those residents impacted to assist in this time of need.
“I am sure people who live here perhaps have a family member or someone who they know they can call on to assist. If they need any assistance in any way we can help them,”he said.
Meanwhile, Deleveaux said an investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.