Derelict buildings are a major concern – Fire Chief
Fire Chief Marlon Gentle has reiterated his concern about derelict buildings around the city, most of which he said are safety hazards. His comments came in the wake of a section of a building collapsing. Sometime in the wee hours of yesterday morning at the corner of Robb and King Streets, a building which was on a list submitted to be dismantled because of its dilapidated state collapsed. Fortunately no one was injured.
Gentle pointed out that in 2008 they submitted a list of 29 buildings around Georgetown, to the City Engineer’s Department, that needed to be removed. However, according to Gentle, another survey was recently done and it revealed that of the 29 buildings, 2 were destroyed by fire and only three were actually demolished. The first one destroyed by fire was located at Barrack and High Streets, Kingston. The other one was located at Broad and Lombard Streets.
Gentle pointed out that many of the buildings that were earmarked for demolition pose a serious threat to safety.
“Not only are these buildings fire hazards but one has to also think about if they collapse when persons are passing or when they are occupied by vagrants, which is always the case. Most of these buildings are used in the nights by vagrants,” Gentle asserted.
The Fire Chief further made reference to a building which collapsed on D’urban Street which resulted in one man’s death. He added that the relevant authorities should look into these matters with urgency since given the condition of these buildings, if a fire were to start at one of these structures, the effects would be devastating.
“Most of these buildings are old wooden buildings and the materials are easily burnt with a little fire.”
He further advised the owners of some of the buildings to do the correct thing, as they too are somewhat held responsible if any disaster were to occur.