BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE safety and home of a New Road family was yesterday afternoon (Mar. 12) threatened by fire of unknown origin that originated within a plot of land that was recently covered with tall grasses and trees.
Cliff Richards, Chief Operations Officer of SKNVibes, told this media house that at approximately 4:25 p.m. while he and six other occupants, including four children, were in his Simeon Prince Street, New Road Housing Project home, he picked up the scent of something burning.
“Suddenly the sitting room was filled with smoke and heat was emanating from the eastern side of the house through the open windows. I immediately got up from where I was seated, looked through one of the windows and saw huge flames as fire burning the grass and trees on the property.
“I told everyone to vacate the building and then I attached a garden hose to the pipe and tried to extinguish the fire. A neighbour also came across with her garden hose to assist as we vainly tried to prevent the fire from reaching my home.”
Richards said they had called the Fire and Rescue Services in Basseterre and some 20 minutes after a fire tender arrived.
On arrival at the scene, this publication had observed firefighters battling with the flames and was drenching the areas close to Richards’ home.
It was also observed that the plot of land upon which the fire started was recently infested with large clump of bushes, tall trees, thick grass and weeds.
One individual indicated that residents in the immediate area were concerned about their safety and some 10 days ago the land was partly cleared with the employment of a backhoe.
“The trees, grass and bushes were really tall and that area could have been used by bandits who are currently breaking into people’s home in this and the neighbouring communities. However, while most of the uprooted bushes and grass were covered with dirt, some were still on top and dried by the sun. Therefore, while the firemen bravely fought to put out the flames, fire was burning the bushes and grass below, which meant they had to thoroughly drench the area to prevent its continuity.”
Richards said he is happy that no one was injured or suffered from smoke inhalation, especially the children.
He also said that some of the licking flames had burnt the transmission line to his home and he was therefore without electricity.
Richards further said that he did not know how the fire started, but however assumed that it could have been either deliberate or by the extreme heat currently being experienced.
Over the past two months or more, firefighters have been very busy extinguishing fires in various areas on St. Kitts. Some of these fires were said to have been caused by the sun’s ultra violet rays, while others were by individuals who wanted their farmlands cleared of unwanted bushes.