32 seasonal workers left with nothing after bunkhouse fire
Nadia Matos, CTV Kitchener
Published Saturday, July 30, 2016 7:41PM EDT
A fire at a Mount Pleasant farm has destroyed the sleeping quarters of thirty-two season workers from Jamaica.
It happened at Chary Produce in Brant County on Thursday morning around 7:20 a.m.
Workers who lived in the bunkhouse lost everything, from their toothbrushes to their immigration papers and passports.
Worker Dukie Dennis says, the ordeal has been sad and devastating.
“Sometimes you’re working and your mind goes flashback with stuff that you had.” "You would like, remember some stuff and say…it's in my bag and then realize, you don't have that anymore," he said.
Even the money, many of the workers had been saving to send back to their family is gone.
In response to the fire, the Salvation Army has stepped in to replace many of the lost goods.
“All they had was the shirts on their backs, they were out in the fields working,” said William Ratelband, The Community And Family Services Coordinator for the Branford-Paris Salvation Army.
“Yesterday we arranged for all of them to go down to Salvation Army thrift store to get clothes if it was needed more pots and pans,” he said.
Brant county fire Chief Paul Boissonneault said they are still working to determine a cause but suspects the fire may have started in the Kitchen.
“We had fire fighters on the scene until approximately noon just extinguishing hot spots and pulling apart materials because once the roof came in there were combustible materials that were trapped and still burning underneath.”
Boissonneault says they are working with the property owners to make sure the workers have a place to stay.
According to Boissonneault, the Jamaican liaison service which works directly for the Jamaican consulate has been notified.
With reporting from Leena Latafat