Social Development Minister Donna Cox

Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox put off a planned visit to the Burke family in Maraval yesterday, after she was told the father, Troy Burke, was not ready for visitors.

Three siblings of the family lost their lives in a fire at their Rookery Nook home on Monday.

Cox had planned to visit the family after she left the scene of a collapsed house at Factory Road, Diego Martin, but said she was left with no choice but to postpone the visit after a family member told her of the father’s state.

“I know that this is a time that the family is grief-stricken and we will adhere to their wishes at this time,” Cox said.

However, she sent her condolences to the family of Ezekiel Burke, 17, Faith Burke, six and Kayden Burke, three.

She said the ministry’s Family Services Division had been calling almost every hour to check in on the family and asked citizens to pray for the family.

“This is not an easy situation,” she said.

Meanwhile, President Paula-Mae Weekes has described the deaths of the three children as “heartbreaking.”

“Losing any citizen is dreadful,” Weekes wrote in a media release sent yesterday.

The President wanted the Burke family to know that the entire nation was mourning with them and hoped they have the support they need.

“The Office of the President offered its sincere condolences to the family and prays fervently for the souls of Ezekiel, Faith and Kayden. May they rest together in eternal peace,” the statement said.

On Monday evening, the Prime Minister posted his deepest sympathy on Dr Keith Rowley social media.

“Tonight, every parent can imagine the pain which accompanies the horrible circumstances surrounding the death of those three youngsters,” the Prime Minister wrote.

The Prime Minister told the family that the country was here for them in this period of shock, grief and incomprehensible loss.