BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - FOR almost nine hours, the St. Kitts-Nevis Fire and Rescue Services Department battled a fire at the Conaree Landfill which they believe was intentionally set.
Speaking with SKNVibes, Acting Fire Chief of the Department Everette O’Garro informed that at about 7:45 on Sunday (Mar. 23) morning the Basseterre unit responded to a report of a fire at the Landfill.
When members of the unit arrived at the scene, it was discovered that the fire appeared to have originated in a small garbage cell. He explained that the fire had spread and assistance was sought in an attempt to contain it.
“It took a long time to get under control. The fire eventually spread to some derelict vehicles that the officials at the Landfill were storing in a particular area. This proved to be really, really troubling and we had to summon the help of different companies with the use of excavators and loaders in order to dig a complete fire trench, separating the pressed derelict vehicles from the main garbage cell...”
He described this as a “very important” move because it was key in preventing the fire from spreading to the major cells of the Landfill.
“...if we were not successful in doing that, we could have had fire at the Landfill for months upon months.”
Fire Chief (Ag) O’Garro explained that the task was such that both the Sandy Point and Tabernacle Units had to be called in to assist in the effort.
He said it was a “long and hard task” but the “fire officers stuck to it and, at the end, they were able to accomplish (the) objective in preventing the fire from the small cell and the derelict vehicles (from spreading) to the main garbage cell”.
While the major fire was extinguished, O’Garro indicated that a smouldering fire exists at the Landfill which would be monitored. And if need be, the seat of the fire would have to be found and dealt with.
He thanked those who assisted in the effort, and when asked about the cause of the fire he declared that “from our investigations it appears that the fire was intentionally set by some unknown person”.
Residents in the St. Peter’s, Conaree and surrounding areas were affected by the billows of thick dark smoke and accompanying ash which resulted from the fire.