WATCH: Fire destroys Jamaica National Children's Home in St Andrew
A fire of unknown origin destroyed sections of the Jamaica National Children’s Home in Papine, St Andrew, a facility that provided care and protection for youth rescued from poverty and neglect, on Friday.
Reports are that approximately 44 children were left without a place to stay as a result of the blaze that left an estimated $300 million damage, according to firefighters.
There were no reports of anyone being physically injured.
Reports reaching LOOP NEWS are that at about 5:00 p.m., persons passing the area saw smoke coming from a section of the premises and raised an alarm.
Team of firefighters arrived at the location and after several hours of battling the blaze, they managed to extinguish the fire.
“The entire section of the upper floor of the two-story building was destroyed. There were no reports of any injury,” one firefighter reported.
“A total of six units were used to extinguish the fire,” one firefighter told LOOP NEWS.
Damage to the building is estimated at close to $300 million, the senior firefighter said. He said members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade are still trying to determine if the building was insured.
The Jamaica National Children’s Home opened in 1973 as a branch of Britain’s National Children’s Home.
The sole purpose of the National Children’s Home is to nurture children and to provide a loving, caring and stable home to orphans and abandoned children, as well as children with severe mental or physical disabilities whose parents are unable to provide proper care, sources from the organisation stated.
The Jamaica National Children’s Home includes three programmes vital to children:
The Residential Dormitory: Provides for 50 children aged between 6 and 18.