Cole Bay fire victims angle for government assistance

POSTED: 04/5/16 8:55 PM

St. Maarten News – There was an outpouring of emotions as the Lewis family got together to view the damage caused by the fire that took place in Maracas Drive in Cole Bay last week. The matriarch of the family Maud Lewis who now resides in the United States of America and is responsible for the buildings in the area was devastated when she saw the damage to the properties that she built, and could not stop the tears that ran down her cheeks.

Jephtah Lewis who had occupied the apartment where the fire started said he was at work when he received the call that the buildings were on fire and by the time he reached Maracas Drive, the place was already cordoned off by the police and no one was allowed in. “I have lost everything. I tried to get to the apartment but it was all engulfed in flames,” he said.

Lewis who works at Menzes Aviation said he was even paid his salary and all went up in smoke. “Presently I have no clothes except for the ones on my back; all my uniforms are gone, all my documents and my pass for the airport which was left home are burnt. I have nothing left. I have worked with Menzies for about 15 years and all that I have achieved has gone up in flames.

Lewis believes that he will get some help from the company so that he will be able to start afresh since he is now destitute.

He hopes that government will be able to assist them with some place to stay since they cannot afford to stay in a hotel until they are able to get the buildings repaired. Presently they are staying with friends in different areas on the island.

Prime Minister William Marlin also visited the scene of the incident last Wednesday and spoke with some family members. The family hopes it will get assistance at the earliest opportunity.

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