Christine Murphy and her fiancé Joshua Rowe will remember Saturday, May 19; but not for wedding bells joining them in holy matrimony.
The day will be etched in their memories as one when their three-bedroom timber home in Pie Corner, St Lucy, went up in flames.
The bride-to-be was running last-minute errands and getting dolled up, as any bride would be. But a phone call from family members at home alerted her of the pending tragedy.
“I went and got my nails done in [nearby] Coconut Hall. The nail technician was dropping me back home and I made a stop-off at the centre where the reception was supposed to be. I was with my cousin because she was the one who was supposed to be doing the decorations; she got a phone call telling her there was a fire up by me. Then my phone rang and one of my bridesmaids told me to come home quick the house is burning.”
Murphy said she thought it was a prank.
“I told them stop calling me and telling me lies. I really thought they were tricking me, because I couldn’t believe something so would happen on my wedding day. My daughter-in-law called then and told me to come quick, the house was on fire.
“I got home and ran straight inside for my dress, the maid of honour clothes, the groomsmen clothes, and then I ran back in for the shoes. Then I immediately studied the rings but I couldn’t get back inside to get them,” she said, while shaking her head knowing very well that wedding plans scheduled for 4 p.m. at St Lucy’s Parish Church were put on the back-burner.
Murphy’s only consolation was that she returned to the charred remains of her house, in tears, and managed to find her rings.
“Thank God I found them, but they are in a mess. I have to take them and carry them and see what can be done with them,” she said with some relief.
She was at a loss on her next move, but was thankful she, her fiancé, her mother and her children, aged five, ten and 16, had somewhere to lay their heads, thanks to assistance from Barbados Labour Party candidate for St Lucy Peter Phillips.
“I’m just trying to keep it up because yesterday [Saturday] was supposed to be my wedding day. It really took a lot out of me and my fiancé; he even ended up in the hospital.
“I’m really glad my mother is okay as well because she was in the house when the fire started. I’m worried about her now though – she is diabetic, partially blind and both her legs are off. Peter Philips found a home in Northumberland for us so that’s where we are for now. The only thing about it is my mum can’t access the bathroom,” she explained, adding that she missed her home.
Murphy, a hair braider, said her family wasn’t doing too well at the moment but she was trying to keep the faith.
“I’m trying to be the strong figure now. We only got to save a few clothes, and everything else is gone,” she said.
She said she was grateful to everyone who stepped in quickly to lend a hand in her time of need.
“Denis Kellman [DLP candidate for St Lucy] and Peter Phillips say they will see what they can do. A friend of my mother gave me a few clothes and my daughter’s godmother gave her some stuff, and a cousin of mine gave the little girl some clothes. We also got some foodstuff,” she added.
As for the wedding, it is on hold for now.
“When I catch back myself, I would decide what I’m going to do, but my main interest right now is my mum,” she added. (DB)