Firefighters need access to unpolluted waterways to fight fires

Dear Editor,

The most recent and tragic fire that occurred in Kitty, Georgetown that resulted in at least three homes being destroyed and two considerably damaged, and scores of persons being made homeless, brings to the fore once again the dereliction on the part of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown.

Had the firefighters had access to unpolluted open waterways, undoubtedly several of those homes would have been saved. Everyone knows that the water storage capacity of the fire tenders is limited and that they are forced to use trenches, canals and any other nearby source of water to supplement the water that they bring.

The search by the firefighters to locate an open waterway that was not clogged with copious aquatic growth, plastic and other garbage items proved futile. All of the surrounding drains were chock full with weed and refuse. So the firefighters were forced to haul their hoses a considerable distance away where they were able to eventually get a source of water. This is utterly shameful.

It leaves one to wonder where all the hundreds of millions of dollars have gone, that were given to the Georgetown City Council to maintain the integrity of the city’s drainage system. Has it literally gone down the drain? And why were all the nearby fire hydrants non-functional?

City Hall should have a policy for new homes which are being built in the city that should necessitate the installation of smoke alarms built along with sprinklers. They should also ensure that houses are not built too close together which causes multiple homes to be lost when one catches afire.

Then again, the engineers and building inspectors are otherwise engaged and not ensuring the implementation and adherence to existing codes by persons doing construction and renovations. Every day you hear citizens complaining of their highhanded and disrespectful attitudes.

Yours faithfully,

Anu Bihari

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