Sat | May 28, 2022

11 homeless after Manchester fire

Published:Monday | January 24, 2022 | 12:11 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
A dog is seen amid the charred rubble that was once the home of Lisa Gavin and her family in Malton, Manchester. Eleven persons are now homeless.
A dog is seen amid the charred rubble that was once the home of Lisa Gavin and her family in Malton, Manchester. Eleven persons are now homeless.

MALTON, Manchester:

Two refrigerators. Seven beds. Five phones. Computers and furniture. Even a pear tree in the yard was scorched.

But beyond just the loss of possessions, fire in the northeast Manchester community of Malton has left 11 individuals, including six children, not only homeless but hopeless.

Lisa Gavin and her family were visiting the home of a bereaved relative who had recently died when they got the news that fire had ravaged their six-apartment dwelling, as well as a grocery shop and bar, at approximately 3 p.m. Thursday.

By the time they reached home, nothing was left.

A distraught Gavin disclosed that it was just weeks ago that she had received assistance from her aunt to replenish stock in her shop.

“We have lost every single thing. I used to raise chicken and everything burn,” she said.

Though Gavin admitted to leaving the house in a rush to grieve with relatives, she doesn’t remember leaving anything out of place that could have caused the fire.

Deputy Superintendent Rohan Powell of the Mandeville Fire Station said there are plans to engage stakeholders in the central Jamaica parish about fire awareness and control.

Gavin revealed that the concrete and zinc home had been built by her late husband after his father gifted him the land.

Now she is left with few options for alternative accommodation.

“Right now, I am cotching, but it’s not ideal as it is just one room and it’s me and my grandson and the other children, and, you know, sometimes you inconvenience persons when you are in their home in a small space,” Gavin told The Gleaner.

Besides having a roof over their heads, her greatest wish, she said, is to procure new tablets for her children’s schoolwork.

The 44-year-old, who said she is not coping well, is hoping to rebuild her life brick by brick.

“If I get assistance to rebuild the house, or if I get a government house, anything I get I would be grateful. ... I will take any help I get and appreciate it,” she said.

To assist Lisa Gavin, call (876) 331-7284.

tamara.bailey@gleanerjm.com