Jamaica: Man Goes Homeless On Birthday, As Fire Destroys Several Houses In Trench Town

(JAMAICA STAR) – Leroy Richards could hardly find the words to speak as tears flowed down his face yesterday. It was his 51st birthday, but instead of celebrating, he was left to pick up the pieces after his house was destroyed by fire.

“Dem supm yah chip you head, so mi deh yah so, but mi nuh deh yah so,” Richards told THE STAR.

Richards shared a multifamily yard in Fourth Street in Trench Town, St Andrew. Up to press time yesterday, THE STAR had not ascertained the cause of the fire.

In the meantime, eight families, including 15 adults and several children, are without a roof over their heads as a result of the fire.


Richards said that the fire began about 3:30 a.m. and quickly spread through the mostly wooden structures in a section of Fourth Street. Two units from the York Park Fire Station managed to put out the blaze before it could spread to other houses in the densely populated section of the community.

Sophia Walker, one of the affected residents, said that she was in her bed when a sudden heat enveloped the room she shared with her children as smoke began coming through the roof. She said that she instinctively rushed to get her children outside and that it was then that she realised that her neighbour’s house was fully engulfed in flames.

“We lost everything in the house, including toys for the children, schoolbooks, and bags, not to mention dem shoes and clothes. We just glad no one died,” Walker said.

Sophia’s sister, Kenisha Walker, said that were it not for the heroic efforts of other neighbours, who used buckets of water to douse nearby homes to stave off the blaze before the fire units could engage, the devastation would have been worse.

Roy Brown, whose house was also destroyed, said that all he could save with help from residents were a dresser and a bed. Everything else is gone.

Richards said that he lost two stoves, two televisions, a refrigerator, a microwave, a toaster oven, and a three-piece sofa set, among other items, in the blaze.

“If a even fi get help buy two underpants and a slippers, me would a appreciate it because a someone slippers me have on now, and them a guh want it back,” Richards said.