Vincentian woman suffers losses in Brooklyn fire
March 4, 2011
Vincentian woman suffers losses in Brooklyn fire

A Vincentian was among the over 100 persons who were made homeless in a February 19, 2011, fire that swept through an apartment building in East 29th St in the East Flatbush area of Brooklyn, New York.{{more}}

Allona Bristol, originally from Mt Pleasant, Marriaqua, is still trying to come to grips with the reality of that fateful Saturday two weeks ago when she lost all her earthly possessions.

For the mother of two, what started as an ordinary Saturday turned out to be a day that she will long remember.

“My sister and I went to Gateway Mall and she was dropping me home. When we were about two blocks away, the street was blocked off. So she parked the car and as we were walking, I saw that it was on my street that the fire trucks were”, Bristol recalled.

“I met two guys and they asked if I lived on this block. It turned out that one of them lived in the building also, it was him who told me that it was our building that had a fire…” Bristol explained.

She recalled that when she got to the area around 7 pm, the fire was still on the 4th floor, where it had started about 45 minutes earlier, according to reports.

The building had two sections, and according to the Bristol, when she got on the scene, the fire was in the “other section.”

Hopelessly she stood there and witnessed the flames spread from the 4th floor to the 6th, then the top floors collapsed.

“When I got there around 7 o’clock, it was not on my side. I never thought it would get to my side. In no time the building blew up,” Bristol said, with grief evident.

Residents and on lookers complained that had the response from the FDNY been quicker, the five alarm fire might not have been so devastating.

Since the fire, Bristol, who saved nothing, and was left with only the clothes on her back, has been staying with a friend, and the reality of the situation is still sinking in.

“I cried all night. I cried until I threw up. It’s very painful. I feel like my whole life, 15 years of living here, and even what I have from St Vincent is all gone. I have to start all over, as simple as getting back a birth paper from St Vincent,” Bristol stated.

“Nobody deserve to go through this. I don’t care how terrible the person is, I don’t wish it on them,” Bristol said with sadness in her voice.

For Bristol and the other one hundred or so persons who are now displaced with no resolution in sight, another blow came earlier this week when the authorities and the US media disclosed what ignited the fire.

Reports are that the fire, which took the life of a retired 62-year-old teacher, was started by a “Voodoo sex ritual.”

It was described as “a wild candlelit sex ritual between a Brooklyn woman and her voodoo priest.”

According to the New York Post, the activity “got so hot and heavy, they ended up torching their clothes and sheets.”

“He poured rum on the floor near the door to prevent evil spirits from getting inside,” the source said. “[He told her] in order for it to work, they had to have sex,” the US paper said.

Sources say that may be the genesis of the fire.

It is believed that the two men and the woman then fled the fourth-floor apartment and left the door open, which helped to engulf the entire building.

A number of persons were hospitalised, including twenty firefighters. New York Fire officials said that no charges are expected.

In an effort to assist Bristol, there will be a fundraising dance at Cafe Omar tonight, Friday, March 4, beginning at 11 pm.