The fire destroyed two wooden house at Long Wall, Kingstown.

An early afternoon fire, which residents of Long Wall say they believe was an act of arson, destroyed two wooden houses in the East Kingstown community on Tuesday.

One of the houses destroyed belonged to Cane Garden resident, Shonette Williams, who had recently purchased it and was planning to move in from her rented accommodation at the end of this month.

Station Sergeant of Police, John Henry, of the Fire Department told iWitness News that police received a call sometime after 1 p.m. about a fire at Long Wall.
He said firefighters responded immediately, but when they got there, they met one house already gutted by the fire and the blaze was threatening another house.

Henry said firefighters tried their best to contain the fire but there is no hydrant in the area and they had to go to a hydrant and come back, which resulted in the fire spreading to and destroying another house.

He told iWitness News that there were no reports of injuries as a result of the fire and firefighters had no theories as yet about what started the blaze.

Williams, centre, speaks with persons at the scene of the fire. (IWN photo) Williams, centre, speaks with persons at the scene of the fire. (IWN photo)

Meanwhile, Williams, 35, told iWitness News that she had recently purchased the two-bedroom wooden house where the fire started.

She said she was downtown, Kingstown when she received a call about the fire.

The mother of three children, ages 13, 9 and 7, said someone else was living in the house and had been given until the middle of this month to vacate the premises.

Williams told iWitness News that she had lodged several complaints with police after a woman had told her repeatedly that she would set the house on fire.

Now, her plans to leave rented accommodation at the end of this month and the EC$5,000 she paid for the house have gone up in flames.

“I feel a kind of how, but somehow I have to get back my payment… It ain’t going down like that,” she told iWitness News.

“If you keep telling me you go burn down my place, who burn it down now?” she said and speculated that the woman who had threatened to burn the house had done so.

The remains of the houses that were gutted by fire. (IWN photo)
The remains of the houses that were gutted by fire. (IWN photo)

Williams told iWitness News that after hearing about the fire, she also filed another report with police Tuesday afternoon.

And, firefighters were able to save the home of Williams’ would-be neighbour, Alison Rodriguez, who was among the first persons to discover that the house was on fire.

Rodriguez told iWitness News that she was in her house and saw smoke coming from outside.

When she went outside, she said Williams’ house on fire.

Rodriguez said she attempted to put out the fire but her efforts were futile.

Police helped Rodriguez to remove the content from her house. (IWN photo)
Police helped Rodriguez to remove the content from her house. (IWN photo)

She then started to wet her own house. As the flamed threatened the wooden dwelling, officers from the Special Service Unit help to remove the content of Rodriguez’s home.

Her house was not damaged beyond being scorched by the blaze.

‘I thank God,” she told iWitness News.

She said no one was at home when the fire broke out at the neighbour’s houses

“The fire was coming from inside, actually,” she told iWitness News.

3 replies on “Fire destroys woman’s plan to move into house she recently bought”

  1. Why people continue to call our useless fire brigade (which should have enough on-board water and several large fire extinguishers to extinguish most moderate blazes) is mind boggling.

    One good definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over (calling the fire department to put out a fire) expecting a different result (that the firemen are actually firefighters). Anyone who calls the fire department is certifiably mad.

  2. Reading between the lines it sounds to me like the fire engine tank was empty again, no water, this is a regular performance that has cost people their homes so many times in the past.

    The record is that the fire service have never been able to put out a house or property fire. If they had proper equipment the could.

  3. Bad advice David, if your house is on fire and you know its on fire and fail to do anything to mitigate the ensuing loss like calling the fire brigade or removing whatever you can if at the time it is safe to do so may create an insurance problem, if they are insured of course.

    My advice is to always call the fire brigade and to always video what they do and how they do it. If the tank is empty record that. If the hoses leak record that, if they cannot couple the hose to the pump record that.

    At some time or other some citizen may be able to sue the government via the fire service, and rightly so.

    The problem with the fire brigade has always been there but has become more prominent year on year.

    I remember when the tried to put out the fire in Kingstown next to Greaves when they turned up in civilian clothes, no protective clothing, no breathing apparatus. No water in the tank difficulty connecting hoses to pump. Running about like headless chickens, hoses spurting fountains everywhere. People in the crowd laughing, jeering and making comments.

    Same thing happened in middle street.

    They simply are not prepared to put out a fire, in fact it must come as a complete surprise that they are expected to attend a fire, “what us”.

    The Kingstown fire engine is neglected, go to London or New York watch the firemen work on their fire engine, washing polishing every single day. It is part of their duty, of their job. But no go to Kingstown and watch them sitting down under the barracks arch eating from polystyrene boxes whilst the engine stands outside with all sorts of damaged, broken and missing parts very obvious even to the untrained eye. And dirty, the firemen keep their cars in a cleaner condition.

    The whole fire service is an absolute disgrace and what is frightening is what will happen at Argyle if there is ever a fire emergency. We know its a different location, but its the same Vincentians with the same lazy lethargic ways from commander to corporal. In fact from the high office in the financial building to corporal.

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