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Police officers from the Couva/Talparo Regional Corporation bring mattresses for Joycelyn Nelson and her family after their home was destroyed by fire in Sookoo Trace Hibiscus Drive, Claxton Bay, yesterday.

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While Government advises citizens to stay home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a Claxton Bay family is heartbroken after a fire decimated their house yesterday.

Jocelyn Nelson said she was already stressed as she tried to find ways to help two of her sons with personal issues. As she sat on the staircase of her home along Sookoo Trace, off Hibiscus Drive, the elderly woman had to scamper as the heat began to burn her skin.

“I came downstairs, sitting in the centre of steps and studied how to solve the problems. While I sat down there, my neighbour saw smoke in a room. She said ‘fire’. Well, I thought that maybe it was some little simple thing. I didn’t move off the step fast because my foot gives me trouble so I just slid off. When I reached in the yard, they told me to run. Well, I found myself and I ran across on the next side,” Nelson said.

With a pained expression, she showed her arm, saying, “I got scorched on my hand.”Before the fire, one of Nelson’s sons told her that he wanted to move back home because of issues where he stayed. To him, God was sending him a message to leave the residence and return to his mother’s five-bedroom home.

Nelson said she focused on finding a resolution, so when the neighbour alerted her, she treated it as something small.“The heat of fire took my hand, and I started to run. The whole place was in flames. It caught fire on one side. My children lost everything.”

The family, which includes children, ages four, seven, 10 and 16, were left with only the clothes they wore. Neighbours rushed out to help, but the house was reduced to rubble.Despite the trauma, Nelson’s son Marvin Joseph was relieved that no one died or was severely injured.

Joseph said it appeared that there was some electrical failure that caused the fire as it originated near an electrical panel. Mattresses were given to the family and shelter was given by neighbours. Joseph said they’re hoping to make a structure to dwell in until something better can be done.