Lauderhill Fire Department reaches out to homeless Jamaicans
By Karyl Walker
Glenton Daley and his daughter Nicola Taylor are two of the happiest people in South Florida.
Six weeks ago, the Jamaicans lost their Lauderhill home to fire. They lost every possession but the clothes on their backs.
To add to their woes, Daley is pregnant and the supplies she had accumulated were also destroyed.
The fire occurred on April 10 and left them homeless. Thanks to the Red Cross and friends, they were given temporary reprieve at a motel.
Just when everything seemed hopeless, the Lauderhill Fire Department threw the family a lifeline.
The firefighters who responded that fateful afternoon were so touched by Taylor’s reaction (she was stretchered away from the burning building in tears) that they organized a baby shower for her at the station.
To father and daughter’s surprise, not only did the firefighters present them with gifts for the expected infant, but gave them keys to a new home and informed them that the first three months rent had been paid.
The gesture brought tears to Daley’s eyes.
“We were living one day to the next. I don’t know what we would do without the fire department. If it was not for them I don’t think we would have been able to smile today, I can’t thank them enough,” he told CNW.
Taylor had recently migrated to South Florida from Scots Pass in Manchester.
“I am just thankful and very happy now because it was too much things going through my head. I lost one baby before and I want the best for this one. To come from Jamaica and be greeted with your house being burnt down was hard for me. The kindness of the firefighters has restored my faith that good people are everywhere. They are very good people,” she said.
Jerry Gonzalez, Public Information Officer of the Lauderhill Fire Department, led the initiative.
He was happy he and his co-workers assisted.
“They are nice people and we were so touched by their situation that we just had to help. It always feels good to help others and that’s what the fire department is all about,” Gonzalez told CNW.
He has set up a Gofundme account to assist Daley and Taylor. Persons who want to donate can do so at gofundme.com/Lauderhill-apt-fire-victims.
Daley’s baby is due in two weeks. She already has a pet name for her.
“We will call her The Fire Princess,” she said.