By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
A DAY after two grandparents say they made an arson threat complaint to the police, their three-year-old grandson died in a house fire off Kemp Road.
Young Jeffrey McKenzie was found inside his home––a wooden structure at Obeah Alley off St Margaret Road.
Eyewitnesses said he was at home alone and was asleep when a fire, starting sometime before 1pm, quickly engulfed his home, killing him before he could be rescued.
Police took the child’s mother away from the scene as part of their investigations, but his grandparents, Barbara McKenzie, 45, and Wendel Moxey told The Tribune they received threats on Sunday and that the fire was “definitely” the result of arson.
Choking back tears, Ms McKenzie said the mother of the child had had a dispute with an unidentified man who chased her to her home on Sunday.
She said the man’s exact words to all of them were: “I coming back to burn this (expletive) down.”
She said she called the police to complain about the threat, but even though she was told someone would come to investigate her claims, no officer ever came.
She said she and Mr Moxey later went to the Wulff Road police station to complain about the threat. While it is unclear whether their second complaint was ever investigated, Police Superintendent Stephen Dean said the investigation into the fire is still in its early stages. He declined to comment on the grandparents’ claims.
About 70 people had gathered at the scene of the fire yesterday, some of them crying and trying to comfort relatives of the dead child.
Tension grew when police tried to arrest the child’s uncle for unknown reasons.
As the uncle resisted arrest, a crowd gathered around a police car and began demanding that officers explain why he was being arrested.
As the crowd grew more and more hostile, police loosened their grip on the uncle and let him go as they drove off.
A crying Ms McKenzie later said the child’s grandfather “yucked me from the fire cuz I was going in there to save (my grandson).”
“We couldn’t save him,” she said.