Categorized | National News

Fire Guts Gov’t Complex -Resident Treated For Smoke Inhalation

Fire yesterday gutted an administrative complex in Lower Bogue, Eleuthera, forcing its employees to relocate and leaving the government with a hefty reconstruction bill.

According to officials, the blaze started just after 11:00 a.m. Tuesday and quickly engulfed the entire one storey complex.
North Eleuthera administrator, Jolton Johnson said he was with his office assistant with he saw a “large cloud of black smoke.”

“I thought it was another bush fire because we’ve had several bush fires over the last several months. But when we got closer, we discovered that the smoke was coming from our office building,” Mr. Johnson explained.

“I pulled on the side and parked and saw my staff standing on the outside and asked them ‘what had happened,’ and they said there was a fire in one of the rooms used to store generators for the hurricane shelters.”

The building housed North Eleuthera’s Administrator’s Office, Magistrate’s Court Post Office and Local Government Office.

Residents and island officials worked together to extinguish the blaze, but by the time they were able to contain the fire, the building and everything inside were completely destroyed – financial and local government records, furniture, safes and cleaning supplies.

One resident was reportedly flown to the capital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Local Government Minister V. Alfred Gray and a team of fire services officials flew to the island yesterday to assess the damage.

He assured steps were being taken to find a place to house those who worked in that building.

“The government will move with haste to ensure that the building is replaced or rebuilt in the shortest space of time,” he said.

“I have spoken with the administrator and I have advised him to redeploy the employees wherever he feels their services can be used in the local government system. I feel sure that they will be redeployed while reconstruction takes place.”

Mr. Gray estimates that it will take between $250,000 and $300,000 to rebuild the complex.

The cause of the blaze is under active investigation.

However, Mr. Johnson suspects it was due to an electrical mishap.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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