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Spike in bush, house fires a worry for fire department

Spike in bush, house fires a worry for fire department

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In the wake of a massive bush fire that consumed two houses on Monday, a senior police officer is advising members of the public to be more vigilant.

Sergeant John Henry, who is attached to the fire service of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday that, in most cases, bush and house fires are caused because of negligence, and could result in significant financial losses and even loss of life.{{more}}

“A person might be burning bush in an area and could easily allow the fire to get out of control and spread to other areas.

“Smoking can be another factor, where the smoker improperly discards of his or her cigarette butt, and this too can cause serious fires,” Henry pointed out.

Henry also touched on children in the home, who may have access to matches or may be around stoves, which, he said, is a dangerous mix.

The fireman said that for the year to date, there had been 69 reported bush fires and 12 house fires.

One of the house fires resulted in the death of two-year-old Romano Cupid.

In 2013, a total of 27 homes were destroyed by fire, while 58 bush fires were recorded.

Last Monday, Kenville Thomas and Emmanuel Hamilton of Top Village in Sion Hill both lost their homes to a fire, which is believed to have begun as a bush blaze.

The wooden structures were completely destroyed sometime after 3 p.m. on May 12, in an inferno that lasted into the night, as lands around the homes burned out of control.

Police say they are not yet aware of what caused the fire, and investigations are continuing.

Henry offered some suggestions which, he said, could help prevent fires, as well as save money and lives.

“When it comes to cleaning up gardens, if you are going to light a fire, keep the area around the fire clear, and if possible keep water handy,” Henry instructed.

“Cigarette butts should be disposed of properly, and you should always make sure that they are out.

“In the homes, you should never allow children to play with matches or around the stove.

“And at no time should you leave children at home unattended,” the officer added. (JJ)

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