BVI News

Probe launched into Saturday’s fire | Firefighter injured

An investigation has been launched into the April 14 fire at R&R Malone Complex in Pockwood Pond, which injured at least one person.

Chief Fire Officer Zebalon McLean said an object that fell from the burning building injured one of the 21 fire officers who had been called to the scene.

He said the officer was taken to the Peebles Hospital and was released the following day.

Meanwhile, McLean said it took firefighters roughly three hours to contain the blaze.

He also said more than four units on the main complex received varying degrees of damage.

The estimated cost of damage or cause of the fire is not yet known as the probe officially started yesterday.

As customary, the probe is a joint investigation between the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) and the fire department.

Challenges

According to the Fire Chief, his team responded to the location at approximately 6:15 pm.

“We did contain the blaze and we did manage to suppress the flames. However, there were some small flames in some tiny intricate areas that we had to get to. Had we left, it would reignite, so it was quite a bit of a labour.”

McLean further said there was nothing unusual about the fire.

“It’s just that it had a lot of material between the buildings to feed on. And, inside the different buildings themselves, there were a lot of different corners and turns that the fire could easily creep into and around. But something like that was not so problematic, it was just a matter of ensuring that we had a steady flow of water and we had to keep interchanging the teams quickly.”

Chief McLean told BVI News that firefighters relied on trucked water from the Water and Sewerage Department and from privately-owned water trucks because of the low water pressure at the site hydrant.

“They did a wonderful job of getting us the water we needed,” he said.

In the meantime, the Fire Chief noted that civilians were ‘far too close to the fire’ on Saturday. He is, therefore, urging persons to remain at a safe distance “just in case something else might happens that would injure one of them”.

 

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