JULIE HOSEIN and her mom were grateful to have escaped with their lives after a fire destroyed the family's home yesterday.
But the women were left saddened by the loss of a family member, pet parrot Sophie.
A burnt cage in the upper portion of the ruined house was all that was left yesterday.
"When I got her five years ago, she didn't even have feathers," owner Julie Hosein said yesterday.
"When they doused the fire, I saw the cage."
Hosein said everything happened so quickly that when she remembered Sophie, it was too late.
The family's dog, Rexy, has also gone missing.
Hosein said she would usually awake at 5.30 a.m. to start preparing for work but yesterday, at around 5 a.m, she was awakened from sleep by the smell of smoke.
Hosein said she woke her mother, Petronilla Hosein, 58, who was sleeping in a separate room.
Hosein, 30, said she grabbed the keys to the door's locks and car, a cellphone, and mother and daughter fled the house.
Hosein said the family—a mother and her two children—who had been renting downstairs for the past two years were already outside the house.
She said the fire had started in that portion of the house, and she was unsure of the cause.
Hosein said she called the emergency number 990, and the call was eventually transferred to the Princes Town Fire Station.
By that time, Hosein, who lived in Armour Street, less than a minute's drive from the Princes Town Fire Station, had already arrived at the station.
She said when she returned with fire officials, the building was already engulfed.
Hosein said everything was lost except her car.
The family praised the firemen for their response, but sister Jean Ali suggested there be a wider education drive, informing citizens of the contact numbers for fire stations.
She said while Hosein dialed 990, the number widely known for the Fire Service, she had to wait for the call to be transferred.
Ali suggested the Fire Service distribute printed fliers with contact numbers which can be kept by citizens.