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Apartment building owner says fire was a ‘hard blow’

Apartment building owner says fire was a ‘hard blow’

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Oxley Lockhart, the owner of the apartment building partially damaged by fire last Tuesday, said the unexpected event was a ‘hard blow’ for him.{{more}}

Lockhart, in a telephone interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, said: “I am very saddened by what happened yesterday. When you set your hopes on things going a certain way and something like this happens it sets you back a lot.”

The Mckies Hill resident, an electrical technician by profession, stated that he had invested in the building that was constructed more than 15 years ago, as a means of supplementing his income.

He said that although the building was not completely destroyed, as was the case of the two other homes in the early morning blaze, it may take a while before things are back to normal for him and his

tenants.

“The two (apartments) in the front upstairs burnt out completely, the door in the front apartment downstairs get burnt, and I lose the roof,” said Lockhart.

He said he plans to repair the building, because it’s an investment that he made.

“But my condolences and sympathies go out to my tenants at this time who lost their possession,” said Lockhart.

One such tenant is Yvette Campbell-Rose, who lived in one of the upstairs apartment with her husband.

At the time of the fire, her daughter and granddaughter, as well as a friend, were staying with them.

“I just barely get out with my grand daughter… my friend who was spending some time with me, all her stuff gone….”

Campbell-Rose recounted that she had just finished giving her one year-old granddaughter a bath and had put on a diaper on the infant.

She said that it was at that moment her guest informed her that an alarm was raised about a fire.

“By the time we opened the door, the fire was already on us and I just had time to just grab a blanket, throw it over the baby and run out,” said Cambell-Rose.

Rose expressed that although she may be able to find a place to stay, she is distraught over losing all of her possessions, which included clothing, beds, television sets, refrigerator and stove, among other items.

Meanwhile, Lockhart is of the view that the spread of the fire to his building could have been avoided.

He lamented that the actions of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force’s Fire Department left much to be desired, and that the department should take some steps to ensure that a similar situation does not occur in the future.

“I remember as a child I used to see the drilling every Sundays and they had more fire hydrants round town…. It seems like they were better equipped back then,” Lockhart said.

“I think if they should start doing fire drills so that when they come they would save the buildings instead of outing fire sticks,” Lockhart said frankly.

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