Farmer loses fam­ily home in mas­sive fire

The Star (Jamaica) - - Front Page - SHANNA-KAY MON­TEITH STAR Writer

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.

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