What was expected to be a normal Saturday for the Duncans of Zambia, Mibicuri South, Black Bush Polder, turned out to be a day of misfortune. Marvin Duncan, 78, a farmer and his 65-year-old wife Claudette Duncan,
lost their home to an inferno yesterday morning.
The couple, who left their Black Bush Polder home sometime around 7:00 am and was on their way to the Port Mourant Market to purchase goods for the coming week, received the dreadful call from a nephew informing them that their two-storey home was on fire.
The 78-year-old disclosed that he was at Port Mourant travelling to the market with his wife when the call came. “My nephew called and he tell me my house on fire and I ask him, ‘Yuh sure? Because me know that can’t be joke. And he seh ‘yes yuh house on fire’. So I tell he to get help and try and out it”.
He explained that he turned back and went to Whim Police Station where the ranks assisted in informing the fire station at Rose Hall Town. However they were told, “The fire tender is not working”.
Calls were eventually made to the Corriverton Fire Station but by the time the fire service arrived the house was already gutted with the flames. He stated that neighbours showed up in their numbers to manually attempt to tame the blaze in an effort to save something, unfortunately nothing was salvaged. “Plenty, plenty people come out and help but still nothing ain’t save,” the pensioner said.
The devastated man told this publication that he also operated a small grocery parlor in the bottom flat. “Everything burnt up, everything; all my goods. Only Wednesday I buy and is today I was going back to the market to purchase more and look what I come and meet,” the elderly man lamented.
Duncan told this publication that he is of the firm belief that his home was set alight by an individual with whom he had problems in the past.
“I took this man to court for cussing and threatening me and the magistrate put he on a two-year bond. This was about a year ago. But week before the last somebody come in my yard and I had paddy in there and they come and throw it out and carry way the bag.
“Last week again they come back, empty out the paddy and carry way the bag. This morning when I was going out on the road I saw him (the person he suspects) by the bus shed. So when my nephew call I ask him if the boy still at the bus shed and he said no.
“So I seh that is the man that got to set my house on fire,” Duncan revealed.
According to him, the fire reportedly began in bathroom/lavatory area, located in the bottom flat at the back. He suspects that the individual might have thrown something through the window of the bathroom/lavatory that resulted in the entire edifice catching afire. Duncan also had fuel barrels that he purchased a few days ago in his yard.
“I does always quarrel with this boy because he don’t work and he does got dem li’l boy smoking weed with he in the ballfield in the next lot,” Duncan said.
The house was built in 1970; the couple has been living at the house for some twenty years. They operated a grocery parlor in the bottom flat, which Claudette, Marvin’s wife ran while he did farming. The upper flat was constructed with wood and concrete, two bedrooms and fully furnished with all appliances. The bottom flat consisted of one bedroom, toilet and bath, kitchen, storeroom and shop.
Some $25Million dollars went up in flames, including $200,000 in cash, $150,000 in jewellery, $2 Million in shop supplies, paddy, fuel and much more.
The farmer’s wife had to be rushed to the nearest hospital after her hypertension skyrocketed as she realised that the place they once called home was no more.
Persons desirous of assisting the elderly couple in rebuilding their lives can make contact with Marvin on 683-6053 or his wife Claudette 678-7287.
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