Fire ravages guest house

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The guest house in Coral Gardens, St. James, which was ravaged by fire on Saturday KT photo
  • Loss estimated at $44 million

Barrington Flemming – Staff Reporter

“I am left shirtless and pants-less, I have nothing, everything just burnout.” Words of a distraught Donavon Forbes, owner of the 7-bedroom Guest House at Coral Gardens, Montego Bay; where the upper floor was destroyed by fire on Saturday morning.

Forbes, who lived on the upper floor of the house, also lost his 2010 Super Charger Range Rover and a Harley Davidson motor bike and other valuables in the blaze.

“I woke up about 4 o’clock and smell smoke in the living room. I opened my door and come out on the balcony and see lot of smoke in the living room. I ran back to the bedroom where I woke up my girlfriend and we ran downstairs where we have some guests. We secured them and brought them out. I rushed back upstairs to go into my bedroom to secure some documents but the fire engulfed them all. We could not save anything – clothes, passport, everything just burn,” Forbes explained.

The Montego Bay Fire Brigade reports that it received a distress call about 5:15 a.m. and responded with three units from the Freeport and Ironshore stations.

The blaze, which was at the upper floor of the house was brought under control and extinguished before any damage could be done to the lower floor.

The fire brigade has indicated that initial reports would suggest that the fire could have been started from an electrical short circuit.

The damage from the fire is estimated at 44 million dollars. It is not known whether the house or motor vehicles were insured.

However, Forbes, who has lived in the house for the past three-and-a-half years, has indicated that despite the heavy losses incurred, he would be taking steps to have the damaged portion of the house refurbished as quickly as possible.

“It was a nice place so I plan to build back. The car and the bike burn to ashes, those were my babies and they are gone.  It will not be a start over from scratch, because I can live downstairs, but what I am happy for is that no one was hurt,” Forbes concluded.

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