Firefighters battle blaze at city business house
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September 21, 2010
Firefighters battle blaze at city business house

Less than two weeks after fire officials of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Fire Brigade warned that most business places here are unprepared in the event of a fire, one business place felt the effects of the fire bug.{{more}}

The usual Saturday morning hustle and bustle in Kingstown was interrupted some time after nine, when an alarm was raised and smoke was seen coming from the third floor of the three-story building that houses Fred J Dare boutique in Upper Middle Street.

According to a fire official, a crew of fire fighters arrived at the scene, and was later assisted by members of the Rapid Response Unit, Special Services Unit, Criminal Investigations Department, and Drug Squad in fire fighting and security.

Members of the general public worked alongside the police personnel in fighting the fire, which burned inside the building for more than six hours before being put out around 4 pm.

During the attempt to get the fire under control, one fireman was taken to the hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation, but later returned.

The official stated that the absence of a fire escape created difficulties for those battling the fire to access the blaze, which was on the second and third floors of the building.

The only access to these floors was through the entrance on the ground floor. A door on the outside of the second floor was blocked by the business’ stock, and because of this, holes had to be sledged on the eastern side of the building to fight the fire from the outside.

Burglar bars on windows on the third floor also had to be removed in order for firefighters to enter the building, hours after the fire had started.

In the SEARCHLIGHT weekend edition of September 10, 2010, Assistant Superintendent of Police Isaiah Browne and Sergeant Charles Adams spoke of the need for business places to have in place smoke detectors, fire alarms, extinguishers and emergency escape routes, in the event of a fire.

The men, who were at the time conducting inspections on business places had expressed the need for education on fire safety.

The estimated cost of the damage and the cause of the fire, were up to press time, still being investigated.