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Town Hill fire claims eight-year-old girl

Town Hill fire claims eight-year-old girl


The cliche “untimely death” can sometimes be misused, but it is fitting to describe the death of 8-year-old Kendra Jeffrey, who was burnt to death in her Town Hill home last Wednesday night at about 10:30 p.m.{{more}}

After what neighbours describe as a “big boom”, fire engulfed the grade three, CW Prescott Primary School student’s room, and eventually snuffed out her life, bringing a sense of hopelessness to her parents.

According to Kevin Jeffrey, 29, father of the dead girl, he was asleep in his room, when his common-law-wife of nine years, Cassandra James, 25, woke him up hysterically.

“Cassandra woke me up and she was screaming Carol, Carol, and the house was filled with smoke,” Kevin said. Carol is Kendra’s middle name.

I’ve got you: This is perhaps what Kevin Jeffrey is saying to his common-law wife Cassandra James, after their eight year old daughter was burnt to death last Wednesday night.

Kevin told SEARCHLIGHT that he tried with all his might to get to his daughter but couldn’t.

Meanwhile one of the neighbours who was assisting in the rescue effort, Garth Deshong, said that they too tried, but the smoke, and the electric shock that they were getting when they tried to enter the house, limited their effort.

A distraught Kevin, a salesman, who moved to Town Hill one year ago, said that the only thing he knows that could have caused the fire was a small electrical fan, which he had in his daughter’s room.

Kevin explained that because the window was not burglar proofed, he didn’t feel safe leaving it open, so he put the fan in his daughter’s room to keep her cool.

“It usually does make hot,” he said, with a shake of his head.

Stooping at a nearby wall, supported by two persons, was the three-month pregnant mother Cassandra, unable to contain herself.

As she telephoned her mother and shouted “Carol dead, yes Mummy, Carol, she dead,” you had to be a robot not to be moved with compassion.

At press time the police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the fire, and Kendra’s death, and her parents were trying to find the strength to move on.