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Jul 14, 2015

Fire in Biscayne Leaves Twelve Homeless

Two Biscayne families are without their house after it was burnt to the ground shortly after two on Saturday morning. Emmerson Michael, his common-law-wife and their seven children lived upstairs, while his sister and her two children lived downstairs of the house at mile twenty-four and a quarter on the Phillip Goldson Highway. While Emmerson and his family were lucky to escape unhurt, today they are without a roof over their heads and are seeking the public’s assistance to rebuild their lives. Andrea Polanco visited with the family today in Biscayne.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Emmerson Michael and eleven others are without a home today after an early morning fire gutted his house on Saturday. Michael and his family were asleep when they were alerted to something burning inside the house.


Emmerson Michael

Emmerson Michael, Fire Victim

“I quickly got up and exited my room and went into the hall way. Due to the fact that I sleep in total darkness, I just looked around to see if there was any kind of light but I saw lone smoke but I didn’t see any flames, so I realized the fire wasn’t upstairs. I quickly opened my front door and ran downstairs and I saw my little sister’s house downstairs on fire. We all got buckets and try to out it but the fire got too intense and we had to leave it.”


The fire started in a bedroom on the lower flat that was unoccupied at the time. While an official cause of the fire is yet to be determined, Michael believes his house was intentionally set on fire.


Emmerson Michael

“We had electricity. I had electricity upstairs and downstairs was just constructed like three weeks ago and didn’t have electricity.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, there wasn’t any candle or anything? Any lamp?”


Emmerson Michael

“She stepped out like seven thirty that Friday morning and up to this moment she hasn’t gone back into her house. She lost her key and hence the reason she didn’t go in to sleep Friday morning and this happened two-thirty.”


Andrea Polanco

“Do you think it’s a case of arson?”


Emmerson Michael

“Actually, I do. Due to the fact of where the fire originated from. It happened where there was no sort of electricity, nothing left lit, no sort of electrical wires, nothing. So, to my belief, it was.”


His forty-five by thirty, upper and lower flat wooden home, valued at around sixty thousand dollars, was completely destroyed. The family lost everything and nothing was insured.


Emmerson Michael

“The best I can say when we lost everything is to the very last piece of socks, underwear. Simply, every, everything, including documents: passports, IDs, Social Security, Driver’s License, Household appliances, everything. Not a single thing survived beside what we ran out with on our backs.”


For now, Michael and his sister are staying at their mother’s house.


Emmerson Michael

“Presently, we are all staying at my mom’s house, which wasn’t too far from my house. We are all staying there and it is very challenging. For my mom, she says oh it’s not a problem and you can stay here for as long as you want but we are staying in the house and we realize how the house is congested because with my family, my little sister’s family and my mom’s family here, it is seventeen of us staying in my mom’s house.”


So, to get back on his feet, Michael is asking for the public’s assistance.


Emmerson Michael

“At this time the main focus is to get a roof over my kids head and if anybody can come out and see the situation for themselves and if they can probably assist with some building materials you know, it would be highly and greatly appreciated. 620-3849 or 668-7976. So if anybody would like to assist they can reach any one of those two numbers.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.


According to Michael, the Fire Service Department was unable to do an investigation on Saturday because of the heat of the embers. They promised to return, but up to three this afternoon they haven’t done so.

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