Jamaica: 7-year-old jumps from window to escape fire set by gunmen, father killed

Latoya Maithland ponders her next move after fire damaged a section of her home in Bell Rock off Olympic Way in Kingston yesterday.

(Jamaica Observer) The boy’s father, 41-year-old Andrew McLean, otherwise known as Killa or Peter, was found dead outside their home in Bell Rock, off Olympic Way in Kingston. His body was found partially burnt and had multiple gunshot wounds.

*Roy is among more than 20 residents left homeless by the blaze which spread to neighbouring houses. A motorcar and a motorcycle belonging to the deceased were also destroyed.

“His son jumped through the window and ran when he saw the fire,” McLean’s mother told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Another resident corroborated that, saying,”Dem bottle bomb his house so him run out and dem shoot him. When it happen, his son ran.”

Commanding officer for the St Andrew Division Superintendent Gary Francis reported that eight children are among the eight families left homeless.

Francis, who said that it was residents who heard explosions and saw fire coming from the dwellings and alerted the police to the situation, appealed to those who may have information that might assist with the investigation to call 813 or 119.

As the afternoon wore on yesterday, the harrowing incident seemed to hit McLean’s cousin, 65-year-old Maria Wood who was visiting from New York.

“Mi baby gone,” she said sobbing as she watched workmen remove charred zinc from the premises.

“I love him so much enuh, cause any little work I have to do on my house, him come and do it. Him nuh leave mi. Every day him come, ‘Aunty, you aright?’A yesterday him come and mi give him food [and] every little thing because mi go clear d barrel Monday and mi give him oil, rice, every little thing, and mi say, ‘Gwaan go cook and eat’.

“Mi have a little thing and mi give him. In the night he came back and was playing dominoes and mi beg him go buy piece of jerk pork and him go buy the jerk pork,” Wood recalled.

Wood, who was scheduled to return home December 8, said she would be leaving today instead.

Mother of three, Latoya Maithland whose house was also damaged said when she heard the gunshoots she pulled her sons off the bed. When the gunshots subsided, she said she saw that a section of her house was engulfed in flames and instructed her sons to run next door while she tried to save some of their furniture.

Another fire victim, Shelton Blake, 45, told the Observer that he was jolted awake by gunshots.

Shelton Blake, 45, said if his carving tools are replaced he would be able to bounce back from yesterday’s fire that destroyed his house in Olympic Gardens.

“Mi hear the shot dem so me jump off mi bed and lay down flat on the ground. After I was there saying I am going to make it ease off, mi hear something a pop, pop. So mi get up and look through a little hole and when me look, mi see the whole a the scheme light up and my outside light off. So when mi come now and pull the middle door and come through I saw the other house beside me on fire.

“When mi run out mi start get some water and other people start help mi. It ketch my house, go over there so, ketch that house and spread,” Blake explained.

All he had left were the suit of clothes on his back, the pair of slippers on his feet and a cellular phone.

“If me could a get back me carving tools me aright,” he said, adding that he had planned to retrofit his wooden house for Christmas.

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