When a four-year-old girl accidentally set a bedroom on fire yesterday, her twin sister ran for help which came too late to save her.
Kimora Millette and her twin sister, Kiara, were looking at television while awaiting the arrival of a school bus, when a bedsheet was ignited by a cigarette lighter.
Little Kiara ran to her grandmother, Brenda Millette.
However, when Millette and a neighbour, Donna Banfield, and the children’s 16-year-old cousin ran into the room, it was already engulfed in flames.
A bucket brigade was formed by neighbours and the blaze was extinguished, but the child could not be saved.
An autopsy by pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov later determined Kimora died from smoke inhalation, and not from the burns which may have happened after her death.
“Oh God! Why another child? Why things are happening to these children?” screamed Banfield, as the child’s body was removed by undertakers.
The incident happened at Betsy Street, Potato Trace, while parents Ronan Millette and Marsha Carabano were at work.
Ronan Millette said the children were left in his mother’s care while he and his wife were at work. He is employed as an operator at Damus Ltd, while Carabano is employed at Southern Maintenance Co Ltd in Guayaguayare.
The tragedy left many neighbours, relatives and friends crying, shaking their heads and seeking consolation from each other over the loss of the child.
Banfield told reporters that around 8 a.m. she went to a parlour outside the child’s home.
Banfield said: “The grandmother and I were talking, when one of the twins ran out and bawled, ‘Mama! Mama! Fire!’
“We ran into the bedroom and it was engulfed in fire already. The whole place was black with smoke. I ran back out to call out to the neighbours and we formed a bucket brigade and out the fire.”
Police and fire officers spent several hours at the scene.
A senior detective said only the bedroom was destroyed, and, based on interviews, a cigarette lighter is what started the blaze.
Ronan Millette said his daughter was very loving, quick to learn and was a leader among her peers.
She attended Head-Start Pre-School at Pond Street, La Romaine, with her twin sister.
The twins celebrated their fourth birthday last month.
Teacher Kathleen Skerritt wept at the house as she hugged little Kiara.
“She was a loving child. A sunny personality. She loved to clap and sing. She always had a song in her heart. She was a very happy child,” Skerritt told reporters.
Ronan Millette said he was at his La Romaine workplace, when someone called and informed him his house was on fire.
“Then someone called me back and said that my daughter was missing and I came home,” said the father.
He said the children’s mother and his grandmother were “not doing well” in coping with the child’s death.
The Express was told the mother was taken for medical treatment yesterday afternoon.
“I am keeping it together because someone has to keep it together. I know how the public does view these things when you all put it out there. It only when you reach on your front step you know. And it reached on mine now,” said Millette, a father of five.