Categorized | Local, News

Franklyn Hixon (Jackie Fyah) dead in sudden collapse of stone house

By Warren Cassell

Jackie Ryan

Franklyn (Jackie Fyah) Hixon

In 2012, a document published by Justin Cassell and Glesford James in association with the Office of the Premier and Cabinet Secretary, titled Accessible Historical and Cultural Sights on Montserrat described the   prominent multi-storey building, constructed with stones, as “[towering] above everything in the area, even the tallest of coconut trees. The structure is called ‘One Million Pieces’ (indicative of the process by which it was built).”

The caption name, given to it by the builder deceased Franklyn Hixon, may have been ominous because Montserrat lost a Calypsonian, master Sculptor and well known naturalist after his home in Frith’s collapsed early Sunday afternoon. Franklin Hixon better known to many as “Jackie Fyah” or “Fyah Itah” died when his multi-storey home suddenly crumbled.

While it is unclear what triggered the collapse, The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) spoke to one of the eyewitnesses who saw Mr. Hixon take his last breath, believes that a prompt response from Police and Rescue personnel could have helped save the deceased.  Nissa Christian told TMR her account of what happened:

House before collapse

House before collapse

“I was home on Sunday afternoon at about a little after 1p.m. when I felt my house shake and thought it was a tremor.  I subsequently learned that Jackie Fyah house had  collapsed.  I called 911 and they got the call and was told Jackie Fyah not in the house.  I called them again and told them that Jackie Fyah was inside the house.  When I reached on the scene, there were people taking materials off of him.  I called 911 again and again in an attempt to give them a sense of the urgency.

House after collapse

House after collapse

A woman ran for a cup of water to give Jackie.  When I called again for a 4th time, the officer was insisting that Jackie Fyah is not in the house and they were dealing with another incident.  I told him I am standing over the man who was covered by rubble.  The police officer then told me that they were coming from all the way from the north.  I then asked them what happened to the police in Salem and the officer said yes Salem is open.  I hang up my phone and turn to the boys and told them that the officers were coming all the way from north.  We were able to move away debris off his chest. We saw him t[ake] his last breath. When the officers arrived I asked one of the officers why they took so long.  I was told that they were on their way coming and turned back because they got a call saying no one was in the house.  I am convinced that he would have lived if the police was prompt in their response.”

Many took to social media to express their feelings about the role and responsibility of the Physical Planning department, which has the duty of enforcing the building codes.   In defense of the department, acting Chief Physical Planner Jerome Meade appeared on Warren C’s ZJB radio programme on Tuesday March 19, 2014 emphasizing the need to adhere to the Physical Planning Laws.   When contacted by TMR, Mr. Meade confirmed that they were investigating whether or not Mr. Hixon was communicated to about any non-compliance.

In the meantime, Leader of the Opposition and artist Donaldson Romeo also appeared on Warren C’s show on Friday, March 21, 2014 and announced that he will be donating proceeds gathered from prints of a portrait he made of Mr. Hixon last year to the family.  Mr. Romeo also spoke of his intention to have an annual “Fyah Exhibition” in the name of the deceased calypsonian and artisan.

 

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By Warren Cassell

Jackie Ryan

Franklyn (Jackie Fyah) Hixon

In 2012, a document published by Justin Cassell and Glesford James in association with the Office of the Premier and Cabinet Secretary, titled Accessible Historical and Cultural Sights on Montserrat described the   prominent multi-storey building, constructed with stones, as “[towering] above everything in the area, even the tallest of coconut trees. The structure is called ‘One Million Pieces’ (indicative of the process by which it was built).”

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The caption name, given to it by the builder deceased Franklyn Hixon, may have been ominous because Montserrat lost a Calypsonian, master Sculptor and well known naturalist after his home in Frith’s collapsed early Sunday afternoon. Franklin Hixon better known to many as “Jackie Fyah” or “Fyah Itah” died when his multi-storey home suddenly crumbled.

While it is unclear what triggered the collapse, The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) spoke to one of the eyewitnesses who saw Mr. Hixon take his last breath, believes that a prompt response from Police and Rescue personnel could have helped save the deceased.  Nissa Christian told TMR her account of what happened:

House before collapse

House before collapse

“I was home on Sunday afternoon at about a little after 1p.m. when I felt my house shake and thought it was a tremor.  I subsequently learned that Jackie Fyah house had  collapsed.  I called 911 and they got the call and was told Jackie Fyah not in the house.  I called them again and told them that Jackie Fyah was inside the house.  When I reached on the scene, there were people taking materials off of him.  I called 911 again and again in an attempt to give them a sense of the urgency.

House after collapse

House after collapse

A woman ran for a cup of water to give Jackie.  When I called again for a 4th time, the officer was insisting that Jackie Fyah is not in the house and they were dealing with another incident.  I told him I am standing over the man who was covered by rubble.  The police officer then told me that they were coming from all the way from the north.  I then asked them what happened to the police in Salem and the officer said yes Salem is open.  I hang up my phone and turn to the boys and told them that the officers were coming all the way from north.  We were able to move away debris off his chest. We saw him t[ake] his last breath. When the officers arrived I asked one of the officers why they took so long.  I was told that they were on their way coming and turned back because they got a call saying no one was in the house.  I am convinced that he would have lived if the police was prompt in their response.”

Many took to social media to express their feelings about the role and responsibility of the Physical Planning department, which has the duty of enforcing the building codes.   In defense of the department, acting Chief Physical Planner Jerome Meade appeared on Warren C’s ZJB radio programme on Tuesday March 19, 2014 emphasizing the need to adhere to the Physical Planning Laws.   When contacted by TMR, Mr. Meade confirmed that they were investigating whether or not Mr. Hixon was communicated to about any non-compliance.

In the meantime, Leader of the Opposition and artist Donaldson Romeo also appeared on Warren C’s show on Friday, March 21, 2014 and announced that he will be donating proceeds gathered from prints of a portrait he made of Mr. Hixon last year to the family.  Mr. Romeo also spoke of his intention to have an annual “Fyah Exhibition” in the name of the deceased calypsonian and artisan.