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Mar 9, 2022

Fire Guts Small Wooden Structure Leaving Elderly Woman Homeless

A fire, this morning, at the corners of South Street and West Canal completely destroyed a small, wooden structure. At the time, the property was occupied by an eighty-two-year-old woman. According to Bernadette Lucas, she was attempting to get a fire going in order to prepare breakfast when the mattress went up in flames. The fire destroyed all her belongings, leaving her with only the clothes on her back. She is thankful to be safe, but could use some help.


Bernadette Lucas, Fire Victim

“I got up this morning and I started a fire.  You know, I cut up the onions and the things and I had boiled the water for the tea and after I had done that, the fire just blew out and the wind was heavy.  So the fire burned out, I tried to start it but every time I tried it kept going out, it kept going out.  So I tore out my sheet and I started putting it in there and it went out, so I went in and I got a bottle and I stuck some stuff in there and started a fire and then the piece from the stuff it fell.  Well I didn’t see any fire, I stuck it in back and I went to put it out and when I… I wasn’t even out there a minute when I heard something going “pop, pop, pop, pop” and all of a sudden I looked, the fire had already started and the place is old, you know, it’s very old.  It started to burn and burn, but the mattress was already on fire, you know, so I couldn’t go in and I didn’t have my key.  So Bonnell and his friends they came and they told me to get out, I said, “I’m fine, I’m standing right here.”  He said,  “No, get out, get out, get out”  And they started to bust down the fence and then they got me out of there and they got me over here.”


Isani Cayetano

“I presume [that] you may have lost everything in the fire.”


Bernadette Lucas

Bernadette Lucas

“Everything, everything.  Just what I’m wearing.  Praise God, I am alive, I am not sick, I didn’t get burned or scorched.  I am doing good.”


Isani Cayetano

“How long were you living in that structure?”


Bernadette Lucas

“I have been living there off and on since 1964.  It’s my grandmother Lucinda Thurton’s structure.”


An effort is being made to help Lucas start over. A small donation has been made on her behalf by neighbors in the area.


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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