Front Page
January 14, 2005

Heroes sometimes come in small packages and three-year-old Rozhioni McKie is no exception.

In the wee hours of Monday morning, the youngster from Freeland, Mesopotamia alerted six sleeping members of his family when their house caught afire. {{more}}

Rozhioni knocked on the door of one of his guardian’s rooms after he was burnt across his back in his futile attempts at getting rid of the smoke that had engulfed the room in which he slept.

His mother Rochelle, who also lived in the house, said that Rozhioni told her that he had opened the window and began throwing stuff outside in an attempt to get rid of the smoke that threatened to stifle him and his family.

“I started to cry when he told me; he was trying to out the fire,” said Rochelle who also said that the fire burnt everything she owned.

“I try not to study it and I pray,” she said. She is hoping that her family soon gets a place to live. She also told SEARCHLIGHT that Rozhioni now has nightmares, waking up in the night crying and grabbing for her.

As the fire ripped through the house burning over 41 years of memories and worldly possessions, the family of seven made their way to safety. Rozhioni’s efforts were much more recognised than that of the Fire Brigade who arrived after the house was burnt to the ground and without water. They later got water and doused the smoldering remains.

Sandra “Di Di” Matthias, the head of the household, said that around 12.30 on Monday morning, she heard a knocking on her door and someone shouting “Fire!” She explained that she got up, alerted everyone else in the house and they fled leaving everything behind.

Matthias revealed that she lost everything she owns. She said she thinks a candle that was left on a dressing table caused the fire in the house where she lived for 41 years. The house had no electricity.

The family is currently living with a neighbour who has taken them in for the time being.

Matthias said that she was instructed by the Welfare Department to seek a house to rent for no more than EC$250. She said that Randy’s Supermarket has also donated a quantity of food.