A lone piece of Christmas tinsel still adorns one scorched pillar of Lisa Cummins’ fire-ravaged Nut Grove home, eight days after a devastating blaze reduced it and two neighbouring properties to an expanse of rubble.
The festive garnish is a poignant reminder of the Yuletide redecoration the 45-year-old had undertaken just weeks earlier.
Today, all else that remains of the house Cummins had lived in since she was a child are parts of the perimeter fence, three steps and a pile of charred appliances.
The inferno which broke out in the early hours of January 10 is also suspected to have claimed the life of Cummins’ 16-year-old nephew Dequan.
Yesterday, the family told Observer they were grateful for the government’s offer of help rebuilding their homes. Cabinet announced on Thursday that assistance would be forthcoming via the Home Advancement Programme for the Indigent, dubbed HAPI.
However nothing, they said, will bring back Dequan whose father Michael Cummins is still awaiting the results of DNA testing to confirm the identity of badly burnt human remains discovered among the rubble. The Jennings Secondary School pupil has not been seen since the disaster.
Michael, who shared a property adjacent to his sister’s with Dequan, told Observer he hoped the government stuck to its word, but added, “Me son is the most important thing. For now me just have fuh wait to see; me nah see me youth man up to now.”
He said he still retained some hope the body was not that of his child. And he sent heartfelt thanks to the community for their support as he undergoes the agonising wait for the DNA results.
Michael added that efforts were continuing to contact the boy’s mother who left for Guyana 14 years ago.