A fire of unknown origin swept through a bond at the La Bonne Intention Guyana Water Inc. facility last night destroying millions of dollars in piping materials and chemicals.
Reports were that about 20:15hrs smoke was seen coming from the back of the GWI facility; residents of the area informed the security officers on site who immediately investigated. They saw the blaze and summoned the Guyana Fire Service.
Before three tenders could reach the scene the fire tender attached to the Guyana Sugar Corporation estate at LBI had raced to the scene. It went into action immediately.
The firemen attacked the blaze inside of the bond and waged a battle against the flames for more than an hour.
Materials stored in the yard against the western wall of the secondary bond were also burning. Efforts to extinguish these were steadily hindered by the acrid smoke from the burning plastic and chemicals. The locations of the materials did not help.
The compound, which houses the company’s main storage facility, features the primary bond visible from the East Coast Demerara Highway. Abutting that building is the secondary bond at the rear.
According to Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali, who raced to LBI, that secondary bond was the one that was on fire. He said that most of the secondary storage bond has been destroyed but he praised the prompt response by the fire service for saving the primary bond from the same fate.
According to the Minister, the fire was reported after the security officers heard an explosion and went to investigate when they discovered the fire.
Chief Executive Officer of GWI, Yuri Chandisingh, who was also at the scene, said that to the best of their knowledge there was nothing in the bond that might have exploded.
Both officials indicated that although the Stores Manager of the facility was on the scene it was much too early to give an estimate on the loss and damage suffered by the company.
The Minister did point out however that had they lost the Primary bond the blow to the company would have been much more devastating.
The bond that went up in flames contained a quantity of polyhose, bends, PVC fittings and sodium hypochloride, which according to the Minister were used in the day-to-day rounds of the company.
The disaster is not expected to disrupt the supply of water to the surrounding communities. The ability to effect repairs may be affected, Minister Ali said.
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