Categorized | National News

Arson Suspected in Dump Fire

Government officials believe that the most recent fire that erupted at the city dump was done at the hands of arsonists.

Minister of Environment Kenred Dorsett told the Bahama Journal on Saturday that the initial fire –caused by tires – is believed to have been intentionally set.

“This fire has been contained though there is still a burning off which is being monitored,” he said in a statement.

“There is also a subsurface fire which also erupted yesterday. We have mobilised a significant amount of heavy equipment and water trucks to assist in the containment of this fire which is expected to take a few days to properly contain. There is no indication at this time as to the cause of this fire. I want to advise residents of the neighbouring communities particularly Jubilee Gardens and those in the south to please keep your windows closed as much as possible. For those who experience respiratory challenges please seek medical attention.”

Minister Dorsett said he has contacted Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez advising him of the conditions so that health teams could be mobilised.

Residents who live near the dump were faced with huge amounts of black smoke caused by a fire from the city dump on Friday.

According to Fire Chief Superintendent Walter Evans, fire fighters have been trying to contain the blaze since last Thursday.

While fire fighters battled that blaze, a second fire erupted in another area of the land fill.

He added that it will be a few days before the fire is completely extinguished.

“We sent our crew out here and the fire is pretty much under control, however, when we got a second call for this blaze, as you can see very large areas of tires are now burning, giving off heavy fumes of smoke which has created some concern to many residents here in New Providence,” the fire chief said.

Manager of Precision Mix Concrete Terry Knowles said the recurring fires at the dump have continued to threaten the operation of his business and the jobs of his employees.

“This fire is happening on a constant basis, the last time happened, it cost us a lot of money because it burnt down the power lines going to the dump and we basically lost a couple days because we had problems with our generator now they’ve closed me down again, I’m going to lose business again today,” he said.

“I have 43 men working here and we have to send everybody home today because the generator failed again so I don’t know why they don’t clean up this area in the back here, it’s filthy. The fire is the real problem because it’s causing health problems for our workers.”

Mr. Knowles who has been a business owner in the area for 10 years is calling on officials to take initiative and deal with the issue.

Supt. Evans said the wind and the height of debris engulfed in flames and smoke poses a challenge to fire fighters, however he said they will work to contain the fire and to ensure that the blaze do not affect Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) power lines.

Investigations continue.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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