Sat | Oct 24, 2020

6-y-o killed in fire

Published:Saturday | December 28, 2019 | 12:44 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Staff Reporter
St George Jackson
St George Jackson

The last desperate pleas of a six-year-old boy as a fast-moving fire engulfed his upstairs home in west Kingston last night brought some residents to tears.

“We thought he was dead, and then we hear him at the window shouting, ‘Mommy! Mommy! Help me!’” one woman recounted.

According to her, those were the “last words” of Davenee Smith before firefighters found his body inside his home atop a shop on Beeston Street, near the intersection with Pink Lane, in downtown Kingston.

She said that a group of men from the community, in a brave bid to rescue Davenee, a first-grader at North Street Primary School, tied pieces of cloth around their noses and tried to enter the building.

“But the fire was too much,” said the woman, who described Davenee as a jovial, outspoken boy.

Assistant Superintendent of Police St George Jackson said that early indications are that Davenee “seemed to have suffered from smoke inhalation and would have succumbed to that experience”.

Davenee’s mother, who was not far from her home when the 5 p.m. fire started, was inconsolable.

“Is like a wound to my heart,” she wailed, before breaking out into a prayer.

“God, help me to pray, give me a word,” she continued, as other weeping residents joined in on the prayer.

Jackson said that the police were taking steps to try to console Davenee’s parents.

Residents reported that they were alerted to the fire by an adult relative who ran from the house apparently unaware that the six-year-old was asleep in his room.

“I saw the fire blazing in the house and then me see the girl run downstairs and say, ‘Fire! Fire!’” one resident recounted.

Jackson revealed that the house was “completely gutted” but said firefighters have indicated that the cause of the blaze was “inconclusive”.

“We are trying to further investigate what caused this fire and whether it was an occurrence that could have been prevented,” he told The Gleaner.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com