Farmer loses family home in massive fire
When Donovan Morris received the call on June 15 that his four-bedroom dwelling in Windsor Forest, St Thomas, was being destroyed by fire, he said that his only hope to save anything rested on his neighbours.
“When we hear fire up this side, we have to hope is not a house, because I never see fire in our community and fire brigade turn up in good time that we can save something. They have to drive all the way around and come because of the bridge. They say they have no legal power to drive on it and that both units had problems,” Morris shared.
The bridge Morris is referring to is a wooden structure that traffics people into the shrubby district, which is located just outside Ramble.
Any assistance neighbours may have been able to provide was also hampered by the continued lack of piped water in the area.
He said that when he heard of the fire, one of his first thoughts was that his late mother, who is buried alongside her husband in the yard, would be extremely hurt.
TOILED FOR MANY YEARS
Morris’ mother, who passed away in 2004, and his stepfather, had toiled for many years to build and furnish the house.
The 54-year-old man, who was sharing the home with his girlfriend and her four children at the time, said he had left home to attend to his farm some miles away.
“About seven past 11, I got a call that my house on fire and when me reach by 11:30 a.m., everything was just as how you see it now. My girlfriend say she did leave the children by a neighbour and gone too. This is where I live all my life and that’s where my mother and stepfather bury; they are the persons who purchased the land,” he said pointing to the gravestones just yards away from the charred concrete structure he once called home.
Though everything was destroyed, Morris told THE STAR that he remains optimistic because of the encouragement of caring community members.
“Dem say life nuh gawn, yu have hope. So a dat me continue with … the hope. So mi just asking everybody to help me with the hope. It done happen already so mi just have to live with it and continue to see how far mi can reach back,” he said. “Everything gone, not even clothes save.”
Morris said he was told that no one was in the house at the time. However, reports from the St Thomas Fire Department state ‘that a child playing with a match’ was the cause of the fire.
The estimated cost of the damage is $2 million.