Categorized | National News

Fire Destroys John Chea Food Store

Fire resources were  stretched, off-duty officers were called in, portions of Carmichael Road were closed off and there was  a request to BPL to cut power supply as fire consumed John Chea’s Carmichael Road location after 11 a.m. yesterday.

Fire Director Chief Superintendent Walter Evans  said that the fire department ended up having to get assistance from the airports fire unit. 

“When  the first unit arrived from police headquarters, just moments later we met smoke coming from the top section and the back section of the facility. 

“When that unit arrived, all of the available units in New Providence were called out and there was a request for a fire- squeltching fire truck from the Airport Crash and Rescue Department. 

“That unit was summoned and it   assisted in the extinguishing of the blaze,” said  Mr. Evans.

As the fire raged on, there was the need for a significant amount of water, which had to be trucked to the scene after filling up at a nearby hydrant.

“Based on the size of the structure,  we had a home or the  northern side we had to protect,   we had a home on the northwestern side that we had to protect and  there’s a business that is just at the southeastern area of where this facility is,” said the Fire Chief. 

All of these were exposed, in addition to many other that were exposed here today. Wind played a major factor because wind was moving towards the west and wind would have assisted in the propagation of this fire. 

“So all of this coupled with the fact that the fire was on the interior played a factor. What the fire services had to do was make a conscience decision to ensure the safety and well being of our staff members. 

“That building on the inside had excessive heat and for those persons on the outside would have felt heat weaves coming from the intensity of the flames and it is due to the kinds of products that were  stored in  the facility, such as  ordinary combustibles; that is not unusual and is common in facilities such as this,” he said. 

Firefighters also had to deal with the wind shifting towards the west.

The massive fire highlighted  the need for more manpower. Chief Superintendent Evans is certain though that relief is on the way.

He said, “a crew of 34 officers which are now in training are now training in Grand Bahama and within the next two months should complete their training. 

“That would help to augment the resources that we now have and everyone must bear  in mind that each shift requires a certain amount of officers and we have   made a specific requirement that all off duty officers must come to the scene of this fire. 

“Off duty officers, our reserved officers and our Chief Fire Officer who is stationed in Grand Bahama who is in Nassau, when they  heard the clarion call they showed up. 

“Of course we have officers  from the Carmichael Road Police Station headed by Chief Superintendent Bruce Arnette. We have officers from the mobile traffic division, the airport police division,”  Mr. Evans noted.

Two females were reportedly taken to hospital, presumably for smoke inhalation.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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