Firefighters were yesterday forced to put out a grass fire that was lit on the Queen’s College field, resulting in clouds of heavy smoke that covered surrounding areas and affected visibility along nearby roads.
The fire was started around 9.30 am and spread across the field, where it also threatened the wooden building used as living quarters by the groundsmen.
The Guyana Fire Service was alerted and firefighters who responded quickly put out the fire. Four fire tenders was dispatched.
When Stabroek News arrived at the scene, the fire was already under control and was being monitored by firefighters.
Fire service officials at the scene told Stabroek News that they spoke with Principal Jackie Benn, who reportedly related to them that she was granted permission by the Ministry of Education to burn the grass on the field.
Stabroek News had previously reported that a full restoration of the field was expected to be done but it was delayed because the school board was awaiting approval from a government organisation for use of the machinery.
The permission was later granted and works had only commenced on the field on Thursday.
However, large heaps of grass were left to be removed and instead of using the necessary equipment to do such, the decision was reportedly taken to burn the grass instead.
Benn, however, refused to comment on the incident.
Chairman of the school’s board Alfred Granger, when contacted by this newspaper yesterday afternoon, said he was unaware of the incident. Granger, however, promised to find out what really transpired.
This newspaper was previously informed that the total cost for the contracted works, which are expected to be completed within two weeks once started, is $1.4 million. The planned works include slashing, ploughing, and levelling of the field.
Granger had previously related that the field’s maintenance will be funded by the school’s board, with support from members of the Queen’s College alumni.