Double tragedy

Double tragedy

Mother questions why no one could save her two-year-old twin girls from deadly fire

Saturday, February 02, 2019

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A day after her two-year-old twin girls perished in a blaze on Grant’s Pen Road in St Andrew, 22-year-old Osheen Rogers, who is being haunted by images of her precious toddlers perishing in the fire, is questioning why no one could help to save her children.

The blaze which claimed the lives of Nieelia and Nahalia Pinnock occurred sometime after 7:00 pm on Thursday in a section of the community called Belgium. It destroyed three buildings, leaving 21 people, including 13 children, homeless.

“Imagine fi see how dem did a roast in the fire,” Rogers said as she walked out of the Grant’s Pen Medical Centre where she had gone to see a doctor yesterday morning.

“Dem say dem hear mi baby a bawl, dem could a go save dem, but nobody no save dem, why nobody no save them?” she continued, in tears, as she was ushered from the health centre by her sister Abigail and Deputy Mayor of Kingston Winston Ennis, who had taken her to the medical facility.

Rogers, a cashier, said she was at work — about a two-minute walk from where the fire occurred — when someone told her that a house was ablaze. Moments after, she said her brother, whom she had left at her home in care of her girls, rushed by and told her that they “burn up” in a fire at their mother’s house.

“Mi so traumatise mi just run out in a di middle road,” said Rogers, who later fainted and had to be taken to the University Hospital of West Indies.

“I didn’t leave dem with mi mother. I leave dem with mi brother,” she said, adding that her aunt usually keeps the two but because Thursday was her ‘market day’ she asked her brother to keep them.

“I told him “don’t bring dem by Dolcie (mother), don’t bring them by Dolcie,” and he came up by mi shop and I give him $500 to buy a tin a sardine and mac and cheese to cook for dem,” she recalled.

Rogers said around 1:00 pm she saw her mother with the girls and she told her to bring them home right away as her aunt had bought shoes for them and wanted them to try them on.

“ Mi no know how mi ago manage widout dem; from dem born a just mi and dem, everything mi do a fi dem,” she said as the tears started to flow down her cheeks again.

“Dem father no know how dem eat sleep or drink; a just dem grandfather help me with dem,” Rogers added.

In the meantime, one of the affected residents, Sheidi Graham, who lost everything in the fire, said she does not know how the fire started but said that the twin’s grandmother was outside hanging out clothes and by the time she realised that there was a fire she could not get to her grandchildren because the windows to the room had been grilled.

“Mi know say she give dem something to eat and she tidy dem off and dem probably put dem to sleep because she washing,” said Graham, a pregnant mother who also has a four-year-girl .

According to Graham, the dead children’s grandmother was told by a five-year-old grandchild that something was wrong. “But at the time she never tell har say a fire, cause if she did know say a fire she would a run go back inna the house before it get big,” Graham said. “A one man come out and a shout fire, fire!” Graham said.

“All I save is one TV and somebody thief it,” she said.

Deputy Mayor Ennis told the Jamaica Observer that the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation would be assisting the residents while appealing to Corporate Jamaica to step in to assist in whatever way possible.

“First we are going to clean up the area as the structure looks strong, so we are going to get an engineer to check the structure to see if it is solid and can be rebuilt. If it is we will get them some materials to start building.

In the interim, he said the residents will be assisted with food, clothing and bedlinen. He also appealed to other residents to help those affected.

The deputy mayor also expressed sadness at the loss of the two young children, noting that their mother is going through a really difficult time as those were her only two children. The grandmother of the children, he said, had not been seen since the incident.

“I just hope she is alright wherever she is, because I know whatever it is she must be very down, feeling a way that her daughter’s children were with her and this happened.”

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