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Jan 17, 2018

Was Fire Service Called Too Late?

Ted Smith

Residents and fire victims believe that the firemen were not prepared to take on the midnight inferno. They claim that the fire truck arrived thirty minutes after the blaze started and that the trucks didn’t have enough water. Well, Fire Chief says not so. He says they were notified of the blaze around ten minutes to one this morning and when they arrived, the structures were already on fire. Ted Smith believes the age of the buildings and the proximity didn’t help the situation. Here’s how he explains what he says was a successful firefight that contained what could have been a bigger fire.


Ted Smith, Fire Chief, National Fire Service

“The extent of fire development that we meet clearly shown that the fire was burning for an extended period of time before we were informed and responded to the structure; that is no secret about that. The extent of fire, that whole structure was on fire. Shortly before we arrived, it collapsed. Shortly after we arrived and we can only respond to an incident or an emergency when we are informed.   On arrival, we went into operation and exhausted both tanks of water there; one was deployed to the canal and eventually supplementary water came back to the scene. Ladyville truck was brought in to set up an additional attack from the eastern section, operating from by the canal by publics. And we were able to contain that fire. I am sure you were there, you took footage, if you notice the close proximity of the wooden structure on the last structure that burned that is  located east – the extreme east of the fire area – you would notice the extremely close proximity to that other structure and it didn’t suffer fire damage and so it showed that there must have been extremely good fire-fight for that to have occurred. In fact, portion of that structure collapsed on that structure while it was on fire – the evidence is there and speak for themselves and yet we were able to contain that fire. The fire department has a way of how it is operated but we have limited fire trucks and limited quantity of water on the truck. We can do a very good job initially if we go and find a fire in its early stage or early phase and still in the confine stage and in sort of incipient phase. When we find a fire like that and respond with the two units we have, we would be able to contain that fire effectively. But when we find a fire in such an extent in development, then it requires supplementary water supply from the nearest canal; that takes time.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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