Bequia fire leaves family with 2 young children homeless

By Admin. Updated 9:44 a.m., Sunday, December 11, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

“I lost everything, but I’m still thanking God for life,” is what Dayleen Nickie, known as Shantel, had to say after a fire destroyed the house she live in.

In an interview with One News SVG on December 7, the mother of two said after washing she went to buy some phone credit and came back home. She said she saw some smoke, but she didn’t take it for anything as people burning stuff in her neighborhood is customary.

“Three minutes after I heard the other neighbour say, girl take your pickney (children) them and run out of there,” she said.

It was a fire from another property spreading onto her boyfriend’s wooden house where she also lived with her two children. In fact, several other houses were destroyed by the fire.

Dayleen said she lost everything in the fire which occurred on Tuesday, December 6, 2022.

“I didn’t get to save anything,” she said.

The 30-year-old mother said: “I ran with my one-year-old son; he had on a pampers. My daughter didn’t have time to get dressed properly, and I had on a torn dress.”

“I lost fridge, stove, TV, laptop, all my children’s clothes, my clothes, my boyfriend’s clothes, prom, tools, microwave, a blender, a lot of things I lost,” she said.

She said her boyfriend lost all of his tools, clothes, everything. “I lost my ID card, my passport, everything burned,” she added.

She said a neighbour freed her dog, and that’s how she managed to save it.

She said neither she nor her boyfriend could find anywhere to stay in Bequia, but her boyfriend used his car to take them to mainland St. Vincent after asking the boat operators for a ride.

“We need assistance,” she said.

“If we can get somewhere in Bequia to rent, like a two-bedroom place to rent,” we would be grateful she said.

“We need assistance with clothes, shoes, a stove; we would need a lot of assistance to get those things back,” she said.

She said so far, the SVG Red Cross has reached out to her and the National Emergency Management Organization – NEMO, and the Ministry of National Mobilization.

She said he is thankful for the immediate assistance so far.

“After the time of the fire, people from Red Cross came there and they assisted me with a slippers, little pampers, for the children to put on.”

She said: “I just want to say thanks to the Red Cross people who came out and assisted me at that time, and it was very fast.”

She said she was told to take a police report to National Mobilization which offered to rent a place for the family for 6-months if they find a place to stay in Bequia. So, she is asking for assistance in finding a place to rent in Bequia.

“They said they could also assist with $600 to help repurchase some of the things lost,” she the mother of two told One News SVG.

She said her 3-year-old was attending preschool in Bequia, but since she lost everything, “that is that with school for her, for now”.

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She said: “I thank God for life still that none of my children got hurt because when I study back, I said it is a good thing I don’t leave my kids and go anywhere, and I was there when the fire took place to run with my kids.“

“So, I’m just trying to take it easy, and any little assistance I could get, I’ll try and get it because we lost money and everything,” she said.

Dayleen said her brother who was renting next door also lost everything too, as his property was destroyed by the fire.

“He also got paid the same morning before the place burned down, and he lost everything,” she said adding that her heart also goes out for him.

“It is very hard because my boyfriend was working in Bequia and we were depending on the money, and this is the Christmas season, so we were depending on the little money to spend our Christmas. I’m not even studying Christmas right now. All I’m studying is to get back on my feet and to get help for my children,” she said.

She said she would be grateful for any assistance with clothes and other items.

She said her boyfriend, 44, built the house, but they were renting the land. She’s hoping that the family can also find a piece of land on which to settle and call their own.

Dayleen’s contact number is: +1 (784) 534-4302



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