BROWN’S TOWN, St Ann — The deaths of two sisters Sunday morning have shocked the community of Cross Road, near Keith in St Ann.

The sisters — Janet ‘Frances’ James, 59, and Paulette ‘Baby Lue’ James, 57 — perished in a fire at their home believed to have been started by arsonists. The incident happened at about 5 o‘clock.

While the police await forensic reports to determine the cause of the fire, residents are convinced that the house was mistakenly firebombed by strange men who visited the community Sunday looking for a man who lived near the James sisters.

The grief and shock that gripped the community Sunday was still evident yesterday. Some residents cried openly as they lamented that innocent lives were lost.


“If it was an accident we would accept it… They don’t deserve it,” Eulalee Irvin said.
“I’m really devastated,” she said as she described the women as “model citizens”.

“It is really shocking; this community is a quiet community. It shocks the entire community. We are trying to cope, but it is not easy,” Irvin added.

Residents were especially upset because one of the two sisters, Janet, was deaf.

“Frances is a people person. All you can hear people talk about is Frances,” a woman named Maureen said.

“I was in my bed about five and I hear this pop, pop, pop. When mi look, the place engulfed already; nobody cyaan do nothing,” she added.

But the residents were thankful that a brother, who had been staying at the home, was away at the time of the fire.

“Everybody a seh if he was here, he would burn up in there, too,” Maureen said. “It terrible man. Mi cry.”

According to the residents, masked men were seen leaving the community soon after the fire was detected. They said they are fearful that the perpetrators will return.

— Renae Dixon


  1. How sad? To be burned up like that. How sad too for the people in the community to be living in fear, because they never know when the arsonists/ murderers might return again.

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