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Jun 29, 1999

WASA gives their side of fire fiasco

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There was a lot of finger pointing on Friday night as firefighters and volunteers spent two hours getting the Victoria Street fire under control. Those on the street blamed the fire service for being unable to get the fire under control, the National Fire Service says they had to wait for B.E.L. to take the power off so those fighting the blaze would not be electrocuted and today WASA said they weren’t given enough notice from the Fire Service and that B.E.L.’s power outage prevented their plant on Wilson Street from supplying the necessary water. To compound the problem, their backup generator failed to work. In addition WASA says the fire which began around six p.m. began at one of their peak demand times and their tanks were already low. According to WASA, despite their difficulties they managed to triple the water pressure during the height of the fire by reverting to one pump. But while the problems encountered on Friday by all the parties concerned indicate there needs to be more coordination between these agencies, the cause of the fire, which destroyed six houses, has still yet to be determined.

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