Thirty families left homeless after fire downtown

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Thirty families are now homeless fire gutted a tenement dwelling and other houses at the intersection of Beeston and Regent streets in downtown Kingston yesterday.

The fire broke out minutes to 11:00 in the morning and quickly spread, destroying several apartments in a building which housed about 25 of the affected families.

Firemen tried hard to contain the blaze, but it spread quickly and razed the buildings. Meanwhile, onlookers had to run for safety as a section of the shell of the burning building came crashing down.

Last night, Local Government Minister Noel Arscott and the Member of Parliament for West Kingston, Desmond McKenzie, promised the affected residents assistance.

McKenzie, while full of praise for the firefighters, bemoaned the little resources the Fire Department staff was forced to work with. Yesterday's fire, said the MP, was the seventh in less than a month in his constituency.

Head of the Kingston and St Andrew Fire Department Maxwell Hinds said it was too early to say what the cause of the fire was.