Categorized | Featured, National News

Fire Destroys Sir Milo’s Home

Fire completely destroyed the former home of the country’s first Bahamian Governor General the Late Sir Milo Butler and caused considerable damage to nearby structures yesterday, the head of Fire Services Superintendent Walter Evans said.

The blaze started around 9:30 a.m. at the now abandoned home on Ernest Street just feet away from where the Butler family operates its funeral home.

The two-storey structure which was built in 1934 quickly became engulfed in flames, Supt. Evans said.

He explained that additional units had to be called in due to the intensity of the fire.

“All of the available units on New Providence were called out and we were able to bring the fire under control,” he said. “There was a 10-room single-storey concrete structure that was nearby. That building, we believe, it received some smoke and water damages, but the occupants of that structure should be able to return in a couple of days or so.”

Superintendent Evans said authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

However, many residents who witnessed the blaze told the Bahama Journal that the building has become home to vagrants and drug addicts and many of them noted that concerns had repeatedly been expressed about the happenings at the Butler family’s former homestead.

Even Sir Milo’s grandson, Craig Butler, admitted the building had been left unattended for several years.

“That was the house that my grandfather built many years ago and it was a historical monument and we didn’t preserve it and now it’s gone and we cannot get it back,” Mr. Butler said.

His sister, Clarice, remembered fond memories of her childhood at the home.

“I particularly remember Sundays when my grandfather would ensure that all of his children and grandchildren gathered around him and he would count out pennies and take them to the hospital,” she said.

Another of Sir Milo’s grandchildren, Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner, was not present on the scene but later tweeted:

“The critics are right…the eyesore is gone…my focus now is to help those nine persons who have lost it all…thank God no lives were lost…”

Area Member of Parliament Richard Lightbourn met with affected residents shortly afterwards and noted that abandoned buildings like the former Butler home are breeding grounds for trouble.

Mr. Lightbourn expressed concern about another structure in his constituency that he sees as a hotspot.

“You’ll find that any building that’s left unattended, people are going to move in,” he said. “I just told the fire chief that there’s a building down the street by the Pilot House that is in terrible condition and like this structure here that is a fire waiting to happen. If that goes up I hate to think what will happen to all those big buildings around there.”

In addition to structural damages nearby residents also sustained damages to their vehicles.

Superintendent Evans also confirmed that one fireman was taken to hospital.

Though fire crews were able to contain the blaze, they continue to monitor the scene for possible flare-ups.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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