Family routed by fire wants to rebuild compound

Community, government and business vow support

A large family left homeless after a fire on Friday say they plan to rebuild their George Town family compound within three months. 

Community support has flooded in for the Buttrum family, who lost their homes after an electrical fire ripped through the building, reducing it to cinders in a matter of minutes. 

Thousands of dollars in food, clothing and cash were raised over the weekend to support the family in the short term. 

Now the community is galvanizing to assist them in rebuilding their home in Windsor Park. 

Government’s Needs Assessment Unit was helping them pay for temporary accommodation on Monday. 

The fire broke out in a vacant room at the group of adjoining family homes just after 8 p.m. on Friday. 

Alwin Buttrum, who owns the house with his five brothers and sister, said friends in the construction trade had promised to help them rebuild. 

“All the family will be chipping in, right down to the babies,” Mr. Buttrum said. “Everybody is going to help. We are a close family and we have friends in the neighborhood that are helping as well as contractors that are willing to lend a hand.” 

Government representatives met with the family Monday morning and have agreed to assist in navigating the planning process. Mr. Buttrum said. 

Alice Ramos, president of Rotaract Blue, said the club was helping to coordinate with architects and other businesses to assist the family in rebuilding their home. 

Sandra Miller, area representative for Windsor Park, said she was helping to coordinate with social services. She said the neighborhood was coming together in support of the family. 

“We will keep working and doing what we can to get assistance to make sure they can get their home back,” she said. 

Tina Choy of the fire prevention unit said an investigation confirmed that the cause of the fire was an electrical fault. She said the building had burned quickly, in part because it was an old, timber structure. 

Mr. Buttrum said the family was still appealing for help with building materials and expertise to ensure the new dwelling is built quickly and safely. 

“We have a lot of people offering support and coming to our aid,” he said. “We have been really surprised and really grateful. We appreciate everything everyone has done.” 

Matthew Leslie of Cayman Islands Brewery handed over thousands of dollars’ worth of donations to the family on Saturday, and a volunteer crew from Island Waste Carriers were on site Sunday and Monday to clear the property. 

Anyone who wants to help may call Mr. Buttrum on 927-3886. 

Volunteers on Sunday cleared what was left of the burned-out building.
Volunteers on Sunday cleared what was left of the burned-out building. – PHOTO: MATTHEW LESLIE


  1. Is it realistic for them to believe that they can design a home, go through planning, get approval, get a red Card and build a home in three months, even a small one?

  2. I wish I saw such an enthusiasm when Anna Evan’s children and their caregivers were asking for help.
    Michael, Clifton Hunter High School still does not have its certificate of occupancy. So it won’t be a big deal for anyone to built whatever they want and just move in.

  3. Just few months ago almost entire community of Grand Cayman including the CIG and churches turned blind and deaf when Anna Evans’ children were asking for help. They were asking and asking receiving only silence in response. The community cared less if the children would end up homeless. It is only because of the persistence of the Cayman Compass they eventually got an assistance.
    The argument of the community was that they brought it on themselves, whatever it was. Well, the children of Anna Evans did nothing wrong.
    Now I am reading about this overwhelming response from the very same community to the victims of the fire. Let me ask you why these people got an immediate help and Anna Evans’ children did not? The owners of the property might as well have brought it on themselves by failing to maintain its fire safety. 20 years old building is not old at all to burn out like a haystack. We would never know because of the speedy demolition.