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Mar 30, 2012

Fire in Hattieville; Family loses everything

Tonight a Hattieville family of seven is left homeless after fire gutted their home this afternoon. Head of the household, Robert Usher lost his home and business, neither of which was insured. While the family lost everything, they were able to get the children out, including a seven year old and a twenty-four year old mentally challenged girl. When News Five arrived on the scene late this evening, the family was trying to pick up the pieces. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports: 


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

After fire ripped through two of his wooden structures, his home and carpentry shop, we found Robert Usher in desperation. Family members are rummaging through the rubble, which were once Usher’s life savings; all of it went up in smoke:


Robert Usher, Fire Victim

“Well, Ms. Lady, I wah tell you di truth, I noh feel too right, right now because this dah all mi life savings—I noh borrow money so I just do this on my own so I would really like if somebody would assist me with some tools back and a few piece of lumber. I noh have no problem because I dah wah carpenter.”


Andrea Polanco

“So speaking about tools and everything, basically you were doing your business right in your yard; so you lost all of those things: engines and different things that you have been working on.”


Robert Usher

“Yes because I do fishing as well and I had three outboard engines in there and that truck engine behind there I had it the repair in there. Three engine burn plus the three outboard engines. My loss is about ninety thousand dollars. the amount of tools that I had downstairs there: skill saw, table saw, grinder—you name it, it was there because I do upholstery, carpenter, I do cabinet. So basically all ah mi tools burn; everything burn.”


Andrea Polanco

“So where do you go from here Mister Usher?”


Robert Usher

“Well I noh know weh part fi turn Miss Lady because I noh have much friends; I noh keep friends. So I don’t know where I will turn now, but thank god that I still living. I noh di give up. I just will do my best so if people out there want to help, they could give me a little assistance; I have no problem. I di try clean up the place right now because there is no use to leave it pile up there. If anybody want assist me, then the place done clean already that we could but back wah structure there.”


Usher’s common-law-wife, Josephine Badillo says that the fire started at the back of the kitchen, where afire-hearth in use was left unattended, a short while. Badillo says as the flames engulfed the structure, the children’s safety was priority


Josephine Badillo

Josephine Badillo, Fire Victim

“I gone out yonder and come back and when I come back and I mi di try cook—cause dah cook I mi wah try fi cook, I left mi next son, but he was over so. When I come back my son sit down in the kitchen upstairs and ih say momma look dah back dah the kitchen outside; ih di ketch. When he said that it’s because I rush ina di room gone hail he and said come because fire—the house di ketch fire. By the time he come out, the side of the house done ina flame already. So he tell me fi try haul out something, but I mi di worry bout the pikney and I dial 911 and they tell em that they will come directly. They only tell me to take out the pikney and I take them out and everything.”


They only managed to save bits and pieces; and are left with the last suit of clothes on their backs:


Robert Usher

“Wi save two ah di lee small doreys and two ah di lee engines weh we had here and the truck and wah lee small stove.”


Andrea Polcano

“But otherwise, your appliances, your clothes; everything gone?”


Robert Usher

“All those gone, we have nothing like that now. We noh have no bed, no sheet, no clothes no nothing. Right now everything gone. We have nothing, nothing, nothing right now.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.


If you’d like to assist the Usher family, you can call them at 631-7545 or 627-0468.

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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