Families of Cemetery Road fire appeal for assistance

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By Shena Henry

Three Houses at Castello Housing Scheme, Cemetery Road, one of which housed a famous soup shop, were destroyed by fire on Saturday last, leaving the families looking for assistance to rebuild their lives.

The owner of the Soup Hut, Orin Isaacs, said that he was lying down when he sensed something burning, but assumed his wife and 13-y-o daughter were not paying attention in the kitchen.

“When I jumped up and came to the door, the kind of smell I getting, I knew it was something more serious. Whilst my wife and my daughter and one worker (employee) ran to the front, I ran through the back entrance and when I stand up on the culbert, I see smoke coming from that left hand side of this building here (the building the fire originated from),” he said.

Damages from the huge fire (Photo: News Room/February 17, 2021)

He also mentioned that right before the fire, they were conducting business at the shop and once an alarm was raised, customers ran leaving their money and soup. His wife also ran away.

Isaacs expressed his disappointment with the fire service and emphasized that they were not prepared to contain the fire and it was public spirited citizens who really made efforts to assist.

“The fire service took a while to come, but when they came, they didn’t come prepared. One man came with a length of hose, another fireman came with a short pants on and just a fire jacket. They took over half an hour to get themselves active,” Isaacs said.

While nothing was saved, no one was hurt. However, the families are in need of assistance.
“We’re here now. We’re not moving. Cause if we move, we don’t really have anywhere to go,” he said whilst adding “…we welcome assistance from anyone of the agencies that could make it possible for us, we will be grateful.”

Damages from the huge fire (Photo: News Room/February 17, 2021)

Meanwhile, the family of the house where the fire originated explained their side. They were at church when they received the news.

Orin McKenzie explained that one of his tenants explained to him that smoke was emerging from the house upstairs.

“I went over to the house and tried to go upstairs but (there was) a lot of smoke, like from knee height going up. So I took off a gas bottle and got out of the house,’’ he said.

McKenzie added that because he felt that the smoke was choking him, he fled the house and was unable to save anything.

He further explained that shortly after the fire service arrived at the scene, there was a shortage of water.

“When they put the hose, no water was coming and another two (hoses) came; one set up at Sussex street to feed those (hoses) that were closer and then with all that going on, the house just kept burning and burning and that was it.”

He said no assistance has been offered from any agency or organization.

Persons interested in donating or supporting Orin Isaacs and family can contact +592 639 5909. Persons interested in donating or supporting Orin McKenzie and family can contact +59 604 3924.

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