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Apr 24, 2002

Fire Dept. takes heat for San Pedro blaze

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The National Fire Service has concluded its investigation into the problems the San Pedro Fire Department experienced when it responded to Saturday’s early morning fire on the island. Fire Chief Henry Baizar says all the equipment on the truck was working when the team arrived at the location, but that the troubles began after they started pumping water from the lagoon.

Henry Baizar, Fire Chief

“Our investigation revealed that the water source was not deep enough. And what happened is when they decided to prime the pump it started sucking up mud instead of water and it sort of blocked the system some sort of the way and caused the primer to be burnt. And once the primer burnt then there is no way that they can lift water with the pump.”

Jacqueline Woods

“What is the National Fire Service doing to improve the situation in San Pedro?”

Henry Baizar

“Well as far as I am concerned, the vehicle we have out there is capable of fighting any fire that San Pedro may have. In this instance, with this fire we had a problem. The problem was there and we are not trying to put blame anywhere else, we are to be blamed. The guys went out there, they tried to do their best, the water was not deep enough to get the lift, it started sucking mud. And what we need to do now is try and work with the Town Council and whoever is out there to ensure that there are proper water heads in place in certain areas of San Pedro.”

Jacqueline Woods

“You mean hydrants?”

Henry Baizar

“Well not even hydrants. Water-heads are where you go and get water from an open source. What will have to happen is that they will need to go an identify areas where these water-heads must be all around the islands, because if there are no hydrants then we must get water from somewhere.”

Baizar says getting water from the seafront is impossible because of the congestion in the area. Meanwhile, Baizar says even though the San Pedro Fire Department is equipped with another truck, that vehicle does not have the capacity to handle big fires like the one that occurred on the weekend that left nearly one hundred people homeless.

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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