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Man dies in Green Hill fire

Man dies in Green Hill fire


Police are investigating a fire that killed a 42-year-old man and completely destroyed a dwelling house at Green Hill on Sunday night.

Dead is landscaper and gardener Andrew “Bo” Nero. The Green Hill man was killed when the house which belonged to Samuel Knights caught fire around 11 p.m.

According to Knights, he had taken in Nero to live with him about four years ago.

“My nephew came one evening and said Nero don’t have nowhere to go and I must give him a night lodging and from a night lodging, he come and live with me about four years now,” Knights told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday, while standing next to his burnt out home.

Knights said that on Sunday night he went to work at Adams Brothers Engineering and left Nero at home.

Knights, who has lived at the same spot for over 30 years, said that around 12:33 a.m., he got a call from his niece, telling him that his house had been destroyed by a fire.

“I just turn off the phone; then she call back and tell me don’t take it on and I sit down in a chair and start crying,” recalled Knights.

He said that most of his worldly possessions were destroyed in the fire and the only thing he has left is the suit of clothes he was wearing and another suit he had with him.

“I can’t estimate the damage; down to my bed gone,” said Knights, while looking at his burnt stereo system, transformer, stove and television.

“If I don’t get assistance to rebuild, I will have to fight my way out; see what left here, is just the frame,” said Knights, pointing to burnt pieces of greenheart wood.

He revealed that he was given the house by his father, who had inherited it from his father before that.

“When he give it to me, it had some flooring boards missing and no window and no door and I take it and make it a house and cherishing it,” explained Knights, who said that his father grew up in the house.

“…Now look what happen; now it gone. I don’t know what cause the fire, I can’t tell you,” said Knights, whose home is surrounded by houses belonging to other family members.

Three of those houses almost caught fire. The plastic water tank mounted on one of the homes was melted by the heat, while another relative with a house nearby had to tear down his wooden porch, as it was catching fire. One man said that his water drum also melted and he had to continuously douse the side of his house that faced Knights’ home.

Knights said that he has no idea how the fire started, but did offer that since Saturday Nero was acting strangely.

“He was acting weird since Saturday, saying people say he find money and was walking up and down in the house and at one point I tell him he must relax. On Sunday same thing he doing, drilling up and down and I tell he rest he self…look, a young man like he gone just so,” said Knights.

Commenting, one of Knights’ neighbours said that she is upset with the way the fire department dealt with the fire.

She said that when the call was made to the police station, the person who answered the call hung up on the caller and when they called back, a lot of unnecessary questions were asked.

The irate woman said that it was not until a police officer who lives in the area called the fire department that they got a proper response, but by the time the fire truck arrived the house had been completely destroyed.

She said that if it wasn’t for the efforts of other homeowners, other houses would have been destroyed.

“We had to finish wetting the houses by ourselves because the fire truck didn’t out everything. All this morning we still wetting parts of the house that not completely out. They left and didn’t even put out the fire completely,” said the Green Hill resident.

She said that the firefighters could not get their hoses close to the fire and had to chop down a tree and spray water from a distance. She noted also that they ran out of water.

The woman said that she saw Nero after the blaze and his last words were “Oh, my God” and he was badly burnt.

One man said that persons were trying to get close to the burning house, but couldn’t because of the tremendous heat. He recalled hearing Nero’s voice during the fire that also burnt a litter of puppies that was under the house.

This is the second person to die in a house fire this month. On February 5, an 18-month-old baby, Wendell Welcome, died in a fire at Ottley Hall. (LC)