No one helped, says fire victim’s nephew

No one helped, says fire victim’s nephew

BY DONICKA ROBINSON
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

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WATT TOWN, St Ann — The nephew of an elderly man who died in a fire at his home is disappointed that the residents of the community and passers-by did not respond to the smoke coming from a house that claimed the life of his uncle on Sunday.

According to a police report, the victim has been identified as Janise McKenzie, a labourer here in Watt Town.

According to McKenzie’s nephew, Horrace Scott, after reviewing the surveillance cameras on his house that also keep track of his uncle’s home, he noticed that the fire had started on Saturday night around 11:00 pm.

“Mi see the big fire light up the house and three vehicles drive pass and nobody no see the fire in the house… mi couldn’t even see the camera good to how the smoke cover it,” he said, holding back tears.

Scott said he returned to his community around 1:00 pm on Sunday to attend a funeral service that was set to commence at 2:00 pm the same day. But, after parking his car he saw smoke coming from his uncle’s home and then he noticed that something was wrong.

He said he then proceeded to call him and opened his door, but he did not respond. Subsequently, he discovered the charred remains of McKenzie on the floor.

“When mi look, the man burn up beside him bed, if mi did home mi would see when the fire started because I watch my cameras right through the night,” he said.

Scott also alleged that a worship service was being held at a church that is located above the deceased’s home, but no one responded to the smoke.

“If mi never come home, the whole area would burn down, [including] the business place, because it would continue blazing,” Scott said, pointing to a nearby bar.

He described McKenzie as healthy and active and said they both had a good relationship.

The fire destroyed only the bed and the wooden flooring underneath it, leaving the foundation of the house.

The divisional commander for the St Ann Fire Brigade told the Jamaica Observer that the cause of the fire was still unknown and that his department and the police were carrying out investigations.

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