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MORE than 20 people, among them a family of nine, were left homeless when fire destroyed their homes at a tenement yard in New Haven, St Andrew, on Sunday night.
According to the police, residents saw smoke coming from the premises at about 11:00 pm. However, the fire spread to all 11 wooden structures in the yard before the fire brigade could be called.
"A dance me a come from when me see the smoke and then me start to raise an alarm and a tell everybody say fire," said Sarah Powell.
She said she lost everything in the blaze, whose origin was still unknown up to Observer press time last night.
The police said no one was hurt in the incident.
Yesterday, a cloud of despair hung over the yard, as fire victims sifted through heaps of rubble.
Forty-eight-year-old Lilieth Barnes said she and the other eight members of her family who lived in the yard only saved the clothes on their backs.
"Eight of us from my family have been left homeless because of the fire; they include my five grandchildren who are between ages one and nine years, as well as three adults," she told the Observer.
Another tenant, Princess Powell, was still in shock.
"A four of us; my two sons and my common-law husband lost everything. We don't know where to start, we have nowhere to even sleep," Powell said.
Meanwhile, the Duhaney Park Police promised to continue their investigations into the incident. The property was not insured.