Still in a daze, Millette, 55, yesterday said Kimora’s death plunged not only the family but the entire community where the child lived, into mourning. According to police reports, at about 8 am on Tuesday, Millette dressed her twin granddaughters Kimora and Kiara, in their pre-school uniforms and left them in a bedroom to watch television while they waited for transport to school.
Tragedy struck, police said, when Kimora was playing with a cigarette lighter and set fire to a pillow. In quick time, the fire spread to the mattress and caught other flammable material, engulfing the bedroom which had one window.
Kiara survived because she ran out of the bedroom to alert her grandmother who at the time had left to attend to customers at a parlour she operates in front of the family home at Betsy Street, La Romaine.
Neighbours quickly formed a bucket brigade and brought the fire under control. However, it was too late as Kimora died of smoke inhalation. Her body was found in a crouched position on the floor of the bedroom.
Millette could barely control her emotions as she yesterday recalled the incident which cost the life of her granddaughter. “I don’t know how she got that lighter,” she said, as tears well at her eyes. “I was so careful with those girls.”
“I would have gladly preferred the entire house burn down and we were all left homeless but my Kimora’s life was spared,” Millette said. Meanwhile, there was a lot of activity yesterday as neighbours and well-wishers turned up to pay their respects and give support and sympathy to relatives of the dead child.
A large tent was erected along the roadway with plastic chairs stacked underneath in preparation for the nightly wake.
Millette complimented the quick response by the fire services as well as representatives from the Ministry of Social Development who visited the family to offer assistance and support.
Minister in the Ministry of the People and social Development Vernella Alleyne-Toppin was expected to meet with the family yesterday. Funeral arrangements are tentatively set for Saturday.