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19 victims of Carenage fire turn to 'Self Help' for shelter

By Kim Boodram

A Carenage family of 19 left homeless by a Sunday-morning fire at the weekend is still looking for a place to stay.

With ten children ranging in ages from seven months to 16 years old, the family was devastated by a blaze that destroyed their home on the corner of Rodney and Dhalia Streets in Point Cumana, around 8 a.m. last Sunday.

Speaking for the family yesterday, Patricia Jeffers, a mother of two, said they have been interviewed by the National Commission for Self-Help and are hopeful of being given a shelter before too long.

"We spent the night by friends and relatives but we will not be able to do that for too long," Jeffers said.

The family is very tight-knit, she said, and would like to be back together as soon as possible.

An estimate of the value of the home lost is being done and the Commission will then inform the family of what type of assistance can be rendered.

Family members have also been interviewed by the Fire Service, as the cause of the blaze is yet to be determined.

MP for the area, Dr Keith Rowley, has also visited the family.

Sunday's fire had reduced the family's home to a shell within minutes.

Jeffers was preparing for work when she heard a neighbour shouting her name.

As she exited the back door, she saw smoke pouring out of the house. Jeffers was able to run back inside and raise an alarm.

Neighbours assisted in evacuating the children and no one was harmed in the incident.

The blaze caused minor damage to a business building next door.

In addition to seeking shelter, the family is also appealing to the public for help in getting the children back to school.

Clothes and school supplies would be greatly appreciated, Jeffers said, for the four boys and six girls who have lost all their belongings.

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