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Increase in fires a major concern


marciadottin, [email protected]

Increase in fires a major concern

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Despite a lull after an abnormally high number of fires over two days, the Barbados Fire Service (BFS) is still concerned about the situation.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Errol Maynard gave the BFS figures for up to last Wednesday when the number of house fires stood at 33 for the year compared with 22 for the same period last year.
Maynard advised homeowners to be more careful. He highlighted the fact that piling up garbage and newspapers presented a fire hazard.
He said the problem was that when there was a lot of garbage around a house, it created the conditions for fires to get out of control quickly. In addition, he explained, the problem could be compounded by the storage of certain chemicals in the home, which at the right temperatures could be easily ignited.
Three hours into 2014, Charlene King, of Parish Land, Christ Church, lost her home to a fire. On Saturday, March 2, Margaret Greenidge, also of Parish Land, Christ Church, lost the home she shared with her six children and grandchildren. She sustained injuries to her arms during the blaze.
On March 7, Miranda Taitt lost her home at Hinds Hill, St Michael. She was undertaking major repairs at the time.
On March 31, 90-year-old amputee Goulbourne Callender died in a fire that engulfed his Cane Vale, Christ Church home.
Grass and cane fires also present a challenge for BFS officials who last Tuesday and Wednesday responded to 69 blazes recorded across the island. There were three house fires and the bulk of the others were grass and cane fires.
Maynard noted then that it was an abnormal two days, but explained that the number of bush and cane fires was almost half that for the same period last year.
The BFS figures up to last Wednesday showed there were 973 bush fires compared with 509 this year, while there were 77 cane fires compared with 43 this year.
(LK)

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