Farmer struggling after costly fire
Marva Beckford was at her sister's house in Crawle district, St Elizabeth, helping her with some chores when fire broke out at her dwelling and destroyed three of six rooms.
The three rooms were made of concrete with zinc roofing and were occupied by two of her children and two of her grandchildren who live with her. One of the three rooms with decked ceiling was occupied by Beckford while the other two were occupied by her brothers. The incident, which took place on April 25, has left Beckford and the four children crammed into one room that was not entirely damaged by the fire. Life, as they know it, changed in the twinkling of an eye.
"Furniture and everything else to provide for the children's well-being burn up. They don't get good sleep, and I know they are uncomfortable because they twist and turn whole night," Beckford lamented.
Beckford, a 47-year-old farmer, recalled the moment she received the alert that her house was on fire.
"We hurried over there but fire had already consumed the house," she said. "We really tried to put it out, people came out and helped us to try to put it out, but it spread so fast," she said.
According to the report from the Jamaica Fire Brigade's St Elizabeth division, the fire resulted in the loss of various items, including furniture, clothing, and all the children's tablets. The estimated damage to the structure and its contents is valued at $3 million. The cause of the fire was not ascertained.
Beckford told THE STAR that the fire has been a massive setback for her family. In addition to losing their possessions, she has struggled to maintain her farming activities as she can no longer afford to pay labourers.
"I struggle to handle tasks like spraying and weeding on my own," she said, while explaining the need for help.
"Farming is my livelihood and with the children here, I can't explore other opportunities that might take me away from them," she lamented. Beckford explained that the mother of two of her grandchildren is unable to care for them so she keeps them.
"Mi get fi buy back some of their school uniforms and my niece assisted them with a tablet that they all share," she said. Beckford has been doing everything in her power to ensure the children can return to school. Other relatives have also given support. Hoping to change their current situation, Beckford made a heartfelt appeal for help.
"If any kind-hearted Samaritan is listening, I humbly request your assistance in rebuilding our home or in any other way you can offer support. I know the children are not living in the most comfortable conditions, but we're making do with what we have. Please, I haven't been able to secure any help, so I'm reaching out."
Anyone wishing to extend a helping hand to Marva Beckford and her family, may contact her at (876) 824-5279.