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Oct 4, 2021

Fire Destroys Two Buildings Near the Big Birds Isle

At least three families, including six children, are homeless tonight after the houses they were occupying on Albert Street went up in smoke this morning.  It happened in the vicinity of Birds Isle where Marcia Usher and her family reside.  Despite all efforts by the National Fire Service to contain the blaze, two structures were eviscerated and a third building was scorched and suffered water damage.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A fire on Albert Street this morning completely destroyed two wooden structures and partially damaged another, leaving several families without a roof over their heads tonight.  Sometime after nine o’clock, Marcia Usher was alerted to smoke billowing out of her neighbor’s bedroom.  Before she knew it, the entire upper flat of the two story home was engulfed in flames.


Marcia Usher

Marcia Usher, Fire Victim

“I di sih down eena my living room with my kids dehn and lee while afta that, I sih outside look foggy but di hours mek I suspish that how ih look so foggy.  So I jump up and when I jump up and I gaan outside, I sih smoke di bust outta di neighbor’s house from di bedroom.  So I seh that noh normal, something wrong.  So I holla because I done know di kitchen deh da back, so I holla and when I look da back fu sih di lady, I sih somebody eena di kitchen.  When I holla now, I tell dehn di room deh pan fyah and then I run downstairs.  So when I run downstairs and I run pan di street side, di bedroom window mi open and I look een deh, di fyah deh eena di bedroom pan di wall.”


At the same time, her common-law husband’s nephew made his way inside the burning building to rescue a pair of women.  He describes off-camera the swift action he took to save an elderly woman from the inferno.


Voice of: First Responder

“We mi deh eena di house di sih down, me and my auntie and her kids and she notice that smoke di come out through di front window fi one ah di room.  So we run out and she holla, “Ey, fyah, fyah.”  So then I tell dehn pickney nobody noh di come out, unu staat stone di house, stone di house, and so dehn staat to stone lotta stone pan toppa di house and nobody still di come out.  So di fyah di get bigga and bigga and me and di young man behind me, we decide we hurry gwein help who deh een deh and wahn old lady and ih daughter mi deh een deh.”


Both men entered the structure and, according to the first responder, there was initial resistance from the elderly woman to exit the building.


Voice of: First Responder

“Di young gial run out and di old lady she deh een deh and she tell me, “We have to save the gas tank, we have to save the gas tank.  Ih wahn blow.”  I seh, “Mami, we cyant save the gas tank.  Me, you and di gas tank wahn blow up if we mess with that.  Younfeel this heat?”


Station Supervisor Kenneth Mortis, of the National Fire Service, also described the scene when the firemen responded to the location.  According to Mortis, they met a chaotic situation.


Kenneth Mortis

Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service

“We were alerted of a fire in progress on the Albert Street area near the vicinity of Birds Isle Restaurant.  Wow.  When we arrived, it was a fiasco amongst fiascos.  We saw two houses completely engulfed in flames and our strategic firefighting then had to allow us to contain that fire before further structures could have been engulfed in flames.  First and foremost, I must recognize the assistance of neighbors who played a very crucial role in additional manpower to the on-duty firefighting personnel.  Again, with the six on-duty personnel, we had an additional five who came off duty to compliment that team, hence the reason I believe we could have managed that fire almost as quickly as we did.  We learned that the addresses for the building affected was 125, 127 and 133 Albert Street, respectively, whereby the fire started from the middle of the building which represented 127 Albert Street, that being the establishment of Clara’s kitchen.”


Marcia Usher told News Five that along with her six kids, she has been displaced.


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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