Arson victim being treated in Jamaica

Residents move back into burned house

A 52-year-old Jamaican woman who suffered severe burns in a suspected arson attack at a home in late December is being treated for her injuries off island and continues to improve, the Jamaican Consulate confirmed.

Elaine Ricketts was flown overseas on Jan. 2, following the Dec. 27 fire at a small property behind Archie’s Bar on Shedden Road which left 12 people homeless.

Police confirmed that they are investigating the case as a suspected arson.

Ewaneo Hill, son of the burn victim, told the consulate he had visited his mother at the hospital in Jamaica, where she “is doing well and her condition continues to improve,” said Honorary Vice Consul Elaine Harris.

Ms. Harris said she had been in contact with the victim’s family, as well as other residents of the house who lost their homes in the fire.

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Three of the residents moved back into a part of the property that escaped the fire, yet received extensive water and smoke damage. The others have either moved in with family members or friends.

“Most of the people were living there because they have nowhere else to stay,” said Constance Dixon, the 76-year-old owner of the house. “Somehow, they managed to clean up the other side of the house that was not destroyed.”

Ms. Dixon said she had been receiving medical treatment in the United States when the fire took place. It was only after she returned home on Dec. 29 that she was told about the incident by her children.

Sitting on the back porch of her home located a few yards from the house, Ms. Dixon watched as a truck scooped up burnt material. She said she is grateful no one died.

“We have to help people. I am old now. If I can help anyone in the community, I will do that” she said.

“I am more worried for the displaced people who don’t have anywhere to live. The house can be built back,” she added. Two women and a man were hospitalized following the fire. Two were later released following treatment.

“I see the gentleman that got burned every day. He’s coming on good,” Ms. Dixon said.

Regarding rebuilding the home, Ms. Dixon said, “I would like to build it back. It’s a help to people.… The funds? That’s the thing. I don’t have it, but the good Lord will help me.”

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  1. A very sad story with the very sad ending.
    But wait, in 2015:
    “Construction firm Arch and Godfrey has stepped in as project manager of a massive community effort to build a new home for a family who lost everything in a fire at the weekend. ”
    “…donations of time, materials and equipment from the firm and other businesses. ”
    “….“It is not like they are getting a free mansion. It is going to be a basic structure,” said Mr. Leslie. “We are going to do what is needed to get them their home back.”
    “..The burned-out building was demolished this week. Architect Eduardo Bernal is already working on designs for a two-story building to house the five families. ”
    (Compass July 2015)
    Why community is not stepping in this time? A crime was committed, people got injured and how the community is responding?

  2. May be Johnny Buttrum and or Eddie Buttrum would want to step in one way or another?
    This is what happened when their GT home was burned to the ground in 2015:
    “… immediate, spontaneous community fundraising effort, organized by Matthew Leslie, of Cayman Islands Brewery, had raised thousands of dollars in donations, clothing, food, and food vouchers for the family by Sunday(July 26,2015) morning. ” (The fire happened on July 24,2015 and the fundraiser was held on July 26,2015)
    “The family [2015 GT fire], and five tenants, were temporarily relocated to the Westin resort.”

    WHY victims of the Dec. 27, 2017 arson were not relocated? Why community is not willing to help this time as they did in 2015?

    Compass, what is the state of another home in Bodden Town that was destroyed by fire on July 4th, 2015? Was it actually re-built?