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Combing through rubble, fire victims consider what’s next

A day after his house was burned to the ground on Jennie Street, off Balfour Avenue, Thomas Daxon was in the rubble yesterday, collecting items burned beyond recognition and placing them into a cardboard box.

“The only thing that perished in the fire was my favorite little puppy,” Daxon told The Nassau Guardian.

“My puppy was about two years old. Her name was Girly.”

He said he really misses the dog.

Daxon joked that she would always “try and throw me down”.

“I wasn’t paying any attention,” he said while recalling the last time he saw her during the nightmarish fire that ripped through the area on Sunday afternoon destroying six homes and damaging four more.

“I ran in the house and she ran after me. Then, I ran out and she didn’t run out. She probably turned around because of the heat.”

Daxon said his piggy bank was the only thing he was able to salvage from the fire.

“Everything else is gone,” he said.

Thomas Daxon attempts to salvage items from his home after the fire.

“All the clothes I had, gone. The boat, it’s gone and so forth.”

Daxon continued, “I’m going to have to survive. I can’t lay down and play dead because I have a wife, grandchildren and children to still help while I’m still on this side.”

He said five people had been living in his house.

Daxon said he was at work when the fire started, but his wife and their grandson were at home.

“She called me and I came, but the fire hadn’t even hit the house good yet,” he said.

“So, when I saw the fire engine come, I thought maybe it would’ve given some help, but it didn’t make no sense because they didn’t have any water; at least the water that they had wasn’t sufficient.”

Daxon, who said he lived in the house for 17 years, added that his wife has moved in with a family member as a result of the fire.

“The church put me up for two weeks or so, up at Land Shark…and said if I need more time, to let them know,” Daxon said. 

Jennie Street is located in the Marathon constituency. Area MP Romauld Ferreira yesterday described the fire as “a devastating situation”. 

He said the entire community has been traumatized by the event.

“We’re assessing the situation,” Ferreira told The Guardian.

“We’ve already provided some short-term assistance and we will look to see how best we can assist moving on. As with all of these very challenging human issues like this that really involve human loss, everyone has come together.

“All of the candidates are trying to help and this is really a national humanitarian issue and everyone is trying to do their part and we will continue to do that.”

He said assistance has been offered in the form of food, school uniforms, etc., to his constituents who were impacted.

The charred remains of a home destroyed by the fire at Jennie Street on Sunday.

Ferreira was unable to say how many families were displaced by the fire.

He noted that there was a “significant number of individuals that have been impacted by it, including children”.

“According to our information at this time, all of them were taken in overnight,” Ferreira said.

“Obviously, situations like that aren’t static. In other words, you move in with a family member, but two months down the road, that becomes a strain sometimes, actually a number of times.

“This is why we continue to make ourselves available because the real challenge is going to come three weeks down the road, two months down the road.”

Ferreira said he is willing to offer assistance “as long as it’s necessary”.

Lisa Rahming, the Progressive Liberal Party’s candidate for the area, said her team was able to offer housing for a few of the individuals displaced by the fire on Sunday night.

“We were so happy that our colleagues came together as well as the leader from the Progressive Liberal Party,” she said.

“We pooled together. We ensured that they had a good night’s rest and they will be there for possibly a few days until we can assist further with living accommodations.”

Rahming said funds are being collected for the families impacted by the fire.

The charred remains of a home destroyed by the fire at Jennie Street.

She said the PLP does not view assistance as “a political venture”.

“This is a national issue and this requires a national address by the prime minister of the country,” Rahming said.

“Not one or two persons were affected. We’re talking about a plethora of individuals who are displaced.”

Investigators aren’t sure how the fire started.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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