Promising student dies in house fire
Talk of Liah Hugh's promising future were on the lips of several shell-shocked residents as dejected police officers and firefighters processed her home following her tragic death on Thursday.
The 12-year-old Kingston High School student perished in a fire inside her house along Giltress Street in Rollington Town, Kingston. Liah's burnt remains were discovered on her bed during cooling-down operations sometime around 11:30 a.m. The tragedy has blanketed the community with sadness. Persons also expressed anger at the unfortunate manner in which the shining pre-adolescent met her demise. Liah was said to be a straight-A student, which was corroborated by her principal, Jermaine Luton
"She came to us in September, she is in grade seven. Very promising student who was also very mannerable. She would not pass you without saying good morning or good afternoon. She came in with some challenges but has excelled exceptionally well to be placed student of the month in January, where she collected that certificate yesterday [Wednesday]," he said.
Among those who stood outside the burnt dwelling in complete disbelief were Theresa Vincent and Capri-Anna James, who have been Liah's best friends since grade five. The pair were inconsolable as they wept, holding each other in a long embrace.
"Liah is very friendly, she is kind and she very, very funny. She never get angry before, she no mek nothing bother her unless yuh trouble har. She never talk negative yet. Yuh see if me wah something and she have it, mi will get it," recalled Theresa, 13. Theresa, who is also Liah's schoolmate, said they were planning to celebrate their recent academic success at school.
"We were planning to have a sleepover. It is what she wanted the most because she went for her report yesterday [Wednesday] and wi a talk 'bout it because she came first in her class. She was so glad for the result," she said of their last conversations. Capri-Anna, 14, said Liah was like an angel, and that her death was undeserving.
"Her love, her beautiful face and her vibrant company, mi a go miss all a that. She is like an angel walking Earth, she is very kind and loving. She always see and say, 'Capri yuh alright?' and there is nothing weh mi ask for and she nuh do," she said between sobs.
Liah's father, Anthony Hugh, was disoriented while describing the impact that the news of his daughter's death was having on him.
"Mi feel weak like mi knees dem a give way. Mi say a cook mi a go cook some food, enuh, 'cause mi deh a yard and nah do nothing, and my lady say she wanted to eat something. From mi get the phone call mi run out of the wholesale same time and reach up yah ... mi feel mash up!" said the grieving father, who lives in Tivoli Gardens, west Kingston.
"Mi a work on fi bring har fi live with me because she is a brilliant girl. She prime, she prime, she prime. She can do everything off har own," he said. Luton said the school family is in mourning.
"We are very saddened to hear about the incident and the manner in which she perished but we will certainly remember the quality of a person that she was," Luton said.