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Jan 28, 2008

Teen saves brothers from burning house

Story PictureTwo young children are alive tonight because of their brave big brother who entered a burning building to save them. According to fire officials, around eight on Sunday morning, they received reports that the house at number ten Hibiscus Lane in the Lake Independence area was engulfed in flames. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation but both police and fire officials strongly suspect arson. This afternoon, homeowner Dawn Billary told us she suspects her mentally ill brother may be to blame.

Dawn Billary, Fire victim
“I eena my kitchen, I just done clean my stove and I start put on my beans now and I ask my son weh part the match deh. So he seh ma I noh have the match. So I seh it could mean ih could be yoh uncle have the match so I seh go buy wah match fi mi. So he get up fi get wah shirt from outta the room. When he gone eena the room he seh ma yoh house anda fire. I tell ah no and he seh yes ma yoh house deh anda. I still noh believe so when I come peep, the room under lotta fire. So we run outside to get water fi try throw but it just di come more. The amount ah smoke hit me, I have to run outside back. I noh even remember fi get my baby. My neighbour di tell me that he bring out the three lee boy them and some people di hold them fi me pan the street.”

“I get fi understand deh seh wah lee boy Shawn si my bredda jump the fence but I noh know if da di back or front ih jump. And they seh he si when ih throw the thing through the window.”

Marion Ali
“He lives here too?”

Dawn Billary
“He mi deh da jail but ih come out two days and he seh he mi going da Caye so I tell he the night before and I tell ah the morning that ih can’t stay here again because I noh have no space fi mek ih stay. Ih no answer me, then from deh ih seh he going da Caye when he feel like. Then he walk through the door. And ih seh all kinda thing but neva really follow up ah. And shortly after that my son tell me the room under fire, my lee boy them room.”

“Ih mi wah be worse if he neva save the little boy them fi me. So I thank ah a lot fi dat. If he neva deh yah ih mi wah be worse than that.”

Michael Middleton, Operations Officer, National Fire Service
“The cause presently is undetermined and we know that the fire started in one of the rooms on the bottom bunk.”

Marion Ali
“When you say undetermined what you mean? Inconclusive?”

Michael Middleton
“Definitely inconclusive. We can’t determine at this moment. We ruled out electrical definitely. Accidental, there’s a possibility but we’re hearing different stories so we have to weigh the different stories to see which one really fits the cause of the fire.”

Marion Ali
“So how strongly are you weighing the possibility of arson?”

Michael Middleton
“We are looking into it along with the police because every fire we just don’t go by what people say. We have different what we’d say procedures that we go through. The son, Ernest, he discovered the fire. He went in and he took out his first little brother. Brought that one out, went in back and took out his other little brother. At that time, that was when he got a burn on his forehead. We really applaud him for the efforts that he did.”

Marion Ali
“Had he not done this would the Fire Department been able to save the children’s lives?”

Michael Middleton
“I’m not sure because when we got there the fire was well developed. All this happened before the Fire Department got there in the early stage of that fire. There’s a possibility that if he did not do that his two little brothers would have possibly died in that fire. Definitely.”

Assistant Supt., Aaron Guzman, O.C., C.I.B.
“The person we have in custody may be mentally challenged and if it is so then we have to look firstly into his welfare and see where we go from there. I will take what we have under advisement from the D.P.P. and if it is that it is established that this person is mentally challenged then we will take what we have and ask for the D.P.P’s advice if it is that we lay charges against the person that we have in custody.”

Although he suffered a burn injury on his forehead, sixteen year old Ernest Billary who works with the Youth for the Future, was back at work this morning. The house and its contents were valued at over forty thousand dollars but nothing was insured. If you would like to help Dawn Billary and her four children, you can call her at 666-5555.

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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