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Woman preparing to bury husband loses home in fire, appeals for help


Melville Harris, Gleaner Writer

A woman who is preparing to bury her common-law husband has been hit with another tragedy after fire destroyed her home yesterday in the rural community of Ivor Cottage in St Elizabeth.

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According to 36-year-old Lorraine Bennett, she was outside washing about 1:30pm, when she was alerted by her mother that her two-room wattle and darb house was on fire.

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Bennett told the Gleaner that everything was lost, including $60,000 in cash which was also in the house.

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She said the fire spread so quickly it was useless to summon the fire brigade as it would not have been possible for them to reach in time to sve her house due to the distance they would have to travel from either Black River, Santa Cruz or Junction

Bennett said her woes have increased significantly with the burial of her common-law husband not yet complete and with she and her children now homeless

The widower and mother of two said she was now appealing to the councillor for the Malvern Division, Donald Simpson, and Member of Parliament Franklyn Witter for assistance as the family of five now has nowhere to live

Chairman of the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, Mayor Derrick Sangster, when contacted said he would be making contact with the parish’s disaster coordinator to assess the situation and provide assistance where possible

The homeless woman said she was also appealing to the wider Jamaica for help as her children, ages 16 and 13 years, have lost everything and with their father now gone, it would be impossible for her to get them prepared for the start of the new school year in September.

Assistance can be made to Bennett by contacting her at 876-830-7205