… 14 homeless
An extended family in Lodge Housing Scheme was left at a loss as the upper flat of their home was completely consumed by a fire of unknown origin around midday yesterday.
Five brothers, Charlie, Francis, Gordon, Ron and Roy Callendar, their sister Deon Callendar and nephew Nigel Permaul, lost everything since their rooms were upstairs in the two-flat building. According to Nigel Permaul, he was with his cousins resting at the back of the house after spending the morning working on an extension of the building that was currently under construction when they looked up and saw smoke emanating from under the roof. Unable to gain access from the back of the house the young men immediately ran around to the other side of the building, but when they got to the stairs they found the way blocked.
According to the young men, the stairs which ran up inside the house and were flanked on both sides by rooms were already ablaze overhead, and the fire was making its way down the stairway preventing them from gaining access to the upper flat. The residents believe that the fire began in the room to the left of the stairs but they were unable to say what caused the fire.
Neighbours who had spotted the smoke called the fire service which to their credit responded promptly. The fire fighters managed to extinguish the flames, but the entire upper flat was destroyed. The outer structure of the house was still standing and the lower flat was awash from all the water used.
The cousins did manage to save a few items out of the lower flat; Allison Griffith who lived there with her six children, two of whom were home with her at the time of the fire, said that she was unable to grab anything except a bag that held her important documents. She recounted that as soon as she grabbed the bag and turned away from the spot she heard a part of the roof give way behind her.
Deon Callendar stood her bare feet in front of the house saying that all that she has left were the clothes on her back, meanwhile her brother, Francis “Goose” Callendar said that all he remembers hearing as he came through the alleyway to get back to his house was his nephew Nigel shouting “Fire!” before he realised that it was his home that was on fire. He too spoke of his losses, saying that they were unable to save anything. (Crystal Conway)
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