T&HD fire doesn’t appear electrical in origin -Benn

Authorities do not believe that last Thursday’s fire which destroyed the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) storage bond on Urquhart Street, South Cummingsburg was electrical in origin.

“We don’t think it’s electrical,” Minister of Transport and Hydraulics, Robeson Benn told Stabroek News briefly when contacted yesterday. He said, however, that the Fire Service would have topronounce on this.  The early morning fire destroyed millions of dollars in ship engines and spares as well as other ship stores and other items. Benn could not quantify how much was lost saying that they are working on this and will get the numbers today.

He said that the loss of ships’ engines and spares was the “biggest loss” pointing out that it was only a few weeks ago that items were delivered. In light of this big loss, they are focusing on ensuring that the ferry services are maintained, Benn said.

The fire destroyed the T&HD storage bond and severely damaged the neighbouring Mings Products and Services Limited boat building facility. Quick work by officials of the Fire Service, however, ensured that Mings’ main building and the office of Dr. Michelle Ming, an optometrist/Optician, were not gutted.

Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle had told Stabroek News that the fire service received a call at around 1:10 am on Thursday and initially three fire tenders responded. Later, they were joined by three others and the officers performed valiantly and managed to save the Mings building. At the time, he said that while officials were yet to determine the cause of the fire, it started in the T&HD building.

One resident recalled that a loud explosion was heard shortly before 1 am and then the fire was spotted. The resident, who asked not to be named, said that fire ripped through the bond within minutes and as a result nothing could be saved. The resident said that the fire then spread to another T&HD building, before reaching Mings.

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