The Guyana Fire Service today said that its inspection of the First Federation building on September 27, 2013 showed that the structure was a derelict and it either had to be torn down immediately or reconstructed.
The press release, via the Government Information Agency, comes in the wake of an ongoing battle between the government and the occupants of the building which has also seen recourse to the courts.
Earlier this month in a notice in the Guyana Chronicle, the Government advised persons not to enter the dilapidated building located at Croal Street and Manget Place and called on tenants who occupy the building to vacate it because it has been deemed unsafe and could collapse. The notice also adverted to findings on the building from the City Engineer’s Department and the Fire Service report of September 27.
Since then, however, some tenants have continued to defy the government. Critics have also pointed out that there are numerous derelict buildings in the city which have remained untouched by all of the authorities.
Today, the Fire Service issued the following press release on its findings accompanied by photographs.
“Based on a correspondence received from the Chief Government Electrical Inspector on the 8th July, 2013 highlighting the many fires and life threatening conditions, the Fire Service conducted an Inspection at the above mentioned premises on Friday, 2013-09-27. The inspection revealed the following hazardous conditions on the premises that are an eminent threat to Life and Fire Safety and even to the neighbouring properties:
1. The building is being utilized for offices for the purposes of plying their respective trades and professions in a haphazard and unsafe manner.
2. This concrete and timber structure is in a state of disrepair and deteriorated to such a state that the timber materials have rotted and the concrete materials have lost their construction integrity and can no longer carry out their engineering and fire resisting purposes.
3. The electrical wiring throughout the building was found loose and hanging, along with electrical points and outlets that were not properly insulated. Additionally, it was observed that numerous illegal and temporary electrical wiring with unsafe connections used to provide electricity from a Portable Generator positioned near the main entrance. Further, there is no legal connection by the Service Provider (GPL).
4. A large quantity of garbage, unwanted and unserviceable materials were found throughout the building (on the various floors, corridors, within the ceiling and the vacant offices/rooms).
5. The above conditions have deemed this structure as a Derelict Building.
1. All occupancy on these premises must be ceased forthwith.
2. Stringent efforts must be made with Regulatory Authorities and owners of this building to do either of the following;
i The building must be renovated and/or reconstructed to meet the minimum building construction standards and safety requirements.
ii. The building must be dismantled immediately and its materials be disposed of in a safe manner.
The Guyana Fire Service has over the years been following its mandate through the Fire Service Act Chapter 22:01 and the Fire Prevention Act Chapter 92:01 Laws of Guyana in offering Fire Safety and Fire Prevention for the populace of Guyana.
M. Gentle DSM
Chief Fire Officer