Fire guts homes; leaves ‘Bad I ’ with nothing
Baldwin Harrington who is also known as ‘Bad I’ had no idea that he would be left in despair before sundown on Tuesday, July 20.
But that is exactly what he experienced when his home went up in flames that also gutted one other building and slightly damaged two others at Block 2000, Old Montrose.
“Approximately 12, to half-past-12 I got a call telling me that there is a fire next to my home,” Harrington told SEARCHLIGHT; “When I got to the scene, I saw a small building already crumbled.
“I also saw that the fire had advanced and was already burning up the other building next to it.”
He said while attempts were being made to control the fire which was already doing damage to the house in the front, his home, a concrete structure where he has lived for over 10 years, situated to the back, began burning.
“No one could have run the risk to save material things. Gladly there was no one in none of the houses. The fire had taken over the whole place and what we tried to do was to make sure that other houses, especially the wooden one were not touched,” Harrington added.
In addition to destroying Harrington’s home and one other small wooden structure, the fire also damged a door of the SDA Maranatha church building which is under renovation.
Two vehicles were also damaged, albeit not extensively.
According to a distraught Harrington, the firemen kept asking about a hydrant and how they would get it working. He claimed that the firemen did not want to go through a neighbour’s yard, which he felt, wasted time while the fire continued to burn.
Residents using water hoses and buckets, lent a hand in helping prevent further damage and destruction.
Harrington was unable to place a value to his losses; the work clothes that he was wearing at the time were all he had left.
He is relying for the time being, on the generosity of neighbours.
“Neighbourly, in the community I think I can get that kind of assistance like a lie-down,” he replied in a sombre voice.
“In the days to come I know that I have to make a start. I know I have to get up, I know I have to rise up.”
And, his neighbours have been coming through for him.
On Wednesday evening, SEARCHLIGHT found Harrington at his shop and he was in an upbeat mood stating: “I am alive and woke up this morning giving thanks to the Almighty for His blessings.”
According to Harrington, “I slept by a neighbour and tonight I might sleep there or by another neighbour. I do not want that to go on, for they have a life to live and I have to give them their space. They are prepared to help but you have to respect a person’s kindness.”
Harrington recognises that it will not be an easy road to recovery but is heartened to have received a number of calls from persons offering assistance.
“Certain pieces of information have passed on but people usually take time to evaluate and decide so it is no rush thing,” added Harrington.
One person who heard of the fire, told SEARCHLIGHT that he has already began looking at what immediate assistance he can put together, and will take a look at the medium and long term needs.
The individual, who did not want to be mentioned, added: “In times like this we must give a helping hand, for a man to lose everything that he worked hard for his heartbreaking.”
Harrington said over the weekend, he will be completing his assessment of the damage, placing a value on it, and compiling a list of his most urgent needs which are building materials, clothing, and other basic supplies, as he aims to get his house repaired as soon as possible.