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BRAGSA worker loses everything in house fire

BRAGSA worker loses everything in house fire

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Stanley Samuel was working in the Fenton area clearing roads in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas last Wednesday, November 10, when his house at Fountain was destroyed by fire.{{more}}

As a Facilities Manager with the Roads, Buildings and General Services Authority (BRAGSA), he was not compelled to be on site, but said that he believes that where his skills could be an asset he should be there.

“I could have been sitting in my office and had I been there (office), I would have been able to do something about the fire,” Samuel said.

He got the message late because of his location, which meant that his phone was not receiving a signal.

“People were trying to call me, but because of where I was, I could not get signal on my phone and they were unable to get hold of me,” Samuel told SEARCHLIGHT.

“When I left (the area), is then I got the message saying that my house was on fire,” he continued.

Samuel said that he got the message shortly after 2 p.m. from his neighbour who had informed him that his house was on fire.

“I began giving instructions as to what to do, but it was already too late,” he said.

The fire destroyed everything, Samuel explained, including his tools and having been a disc jockey in his early years, his treasured record collection.

“Fire is disastrous; the rain will leave something, the wind will leave something,” Samuel explained.

“In a disaster, you’re left with two choices – either you kill yourself or you pick up the pieces and move on.”

Samuel said that he has chosen the latter option, although he admitted it is difficult at times.

“What I try to do is to make humour out of it; when I laugh it helps,” he told SEARCHLIGHT.

Up to the time of the fire, Samuel said that he was the lone occupant of the four-bedroom abode.

The house, a gift to him from his mother, was constructed in 1960.

Samuel said that he had been living there since returning to St Vincent after a stint in Canada in 1988.

“I now have to start from day one again and especially when you get to my age, is like you are at a bottomless pit.”

But he says that he is trying to be strong and says that he is grateful to his neighbours, friends and staff at BRAGSA for the assistance.

He now lives in a small apartment, a short distance from the remains of his former home and is already making plans to rebuild.

Samuel admitted that it will be hard, but takes comfort that there are other persons who are in situations worse off than he.

“I am not too worried. I will move on. I am a survivor,” he told SEARCHLIGHT. (DD)

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