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Cops await forensic results re death probe of mom, child in house fire


The St Ann police say they are treating the ongoing probe into the deaths of a 26-year-old mother and her young daughter as a fire and death investigation at this time.

The bodies of Shellion Hamilton and her daughter, Gabrielle Lambert, were found at an apartment in Cardiff Hall, Runaway Bay, St Ann on Sunday.

Little Gabrielle was said to be under the age of 10, but there have been conflicting reports about her age.

It was reported that sometime after 10:30 am on Sunday, residents saw fire coming from Hamilton’s apartment, and summoned the police and the fire department.

During cooling-down operations, the bodies of the young mother and her daughter were found.

Some calls to head of the St Ann police, Superintendent Dwight Powell, went unanswered on Monday.

However, he told reporters in interviews that, “We are presently treating into this matter as a fire and a death investigation”.

The senior lawman said the investigators are awaiting forensic results to assist in their ongoing probe of the development.

A post-mortem examination on the bodies is also expected to assist investigators as they try to get a clearer understanding of what resulted in the fire and the subsequent deaths of the parent and child.

Meanwhile, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, has expressed great sadness at the discovery of the bodies of the mother and child.

“We do not yet know the cause of this tragedy, and the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the police are continuing their investigations,” said McKenzie in a statement on Sunday.

“However, it is an untimely loss of two young lives and a period of grief for all who knew them. I, also, want to offer my condolences to the family members and to the community, who are dealing with this unwelcome start to the new week,” he stated.

McKenzie is calling on Jamaicans to exercise greater caution in a bid to prevent house fires, noting that over 1,700 persons were left homeless because of such incidents last year.

Even more tragically, 24 persons lost their lives in such circumstances.

“I also want to use the opportunity to urge everyone to take greater steps, especially at their houses and places of work, to prevent fires,” the minister stated.

“House fires have resulted in the largest number of deaths and displacement, and we owe it to ourselves, our children and our elderly relatives, to ensure that the incidents of fire decline sharply.

“Last year, 1,746 people were left homeless due to fires, and 24 people lost their lives,” stated McKenzie.