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Jan 6, 2012

Fire destroys home; baby hospitalized

A fire destroyed the contents of a small bungalow apartment and has left a three year old baby hospitalized. This morning shortly after eight-thirty, thirty five year old Claudia Blanco was asleep when she woke up to a fire inside her living room. At the time, her two children, a three and a nine year old were also at home. News Five spoke to Blanco’s neighbor who said that she was at the house for a visit just minutes before the fire started.

Loretta Thurton, Neighbour of Fire Victim

Loretta Thurton

“I went to hail her because that’s what I would usually do dah morning but when I came I saw a spoon by the door and then my daughter shub the door to see if anyone was there so she was asleep and then like about two to three minutes after my daughter told me, ‘mom my auntie Claudia’s house is on fire’ we came out running to see what happen but the baby was trapped inside and they were trying to get out the baby. The little girl run through the window and the mother come out through the door.”

Orin Smith, Training Officer, National Fire Service

“Whilst en route to the scene, we received a call that a child may be trapped inside the structure. Upon arrival at the scene, we found a concrete three bedroom bungalow structure with smoke emitting from one of its rooms. Information from the scene is that the child had already been taken out of the structure and taken to the hospital by BERTH along with the mother.”

Loretta Thurton

“Three year old Akeem Morgan, they were trying to get him out, he got burned in the face and on his hand. The smoke filled his kidney so.”

Andrea Polanco

“Awrite, so the family lost everything inside the home?”

Loretta Thurton

“Yes, they lost everything. They had nothing saved; everything is destroyed.”

Orin Smith

Orin Smith

“After the fire was extinguished, investigations later revealed that the fire originated within the living room of the structure. Investigation further reveals that there was no evidence within that area that would indicate the fire to be as a result of an electrical fault. There was no evidence of careless cooking being done or the use of candles that were unattended.”

Andrea Polanco

“So the Department has ruled out the possibility of arson?”

Orin Smith

“There were no indications to say that the fire was arson or incendiary.”

Andrea Polanco

“Mr. Smith, when it comes to the contents of the house itself, everything was destroyed?”

Orin Smith

“Not everything was destroyed, no. The major damage was basically to the dining area and some portions of the ceiling of the structure; some appliances, such as stove, TV, chairs, mattress, received some damage.”

Smith says the Fire Service has yet to conduct an interview with the children to determine how the fire started.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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