PM and members of cabinet visit Soufriere fire site – pledge to help victims

PM and members of cabinet visit Soufriere fire site – pledge to help victims

Prime Minister Doctor Kenny Anthony, on a tour of the Soufriere fire scene today with other members of cabinet, said that the disaster could not have come at a worst time.
He explained that it would be a huge task to rebuild, since the area where the fire occurred was an important corner next to the square, where business places had been located for years.
PM visits Soufriere fire 2
 According to Anthony, there was not only a loss of the history of the place, but the livelihoods of many persons some of whom were small business people.
He pledged the government’s assistance, assuring the people of Soufriere that they would not be abandoned in their time of distress, and made an appeal to members of the public  to help those who had sustained losses.
“It is extremely distressing,” Anthony said, noting that not only had business places  been destroyed but private homes as well.
“We are on the eve of Christmas celebrations and I am sure that the business owners had plans for their businesses, so it is really a tremendous loss to them,” the Prime Minister observed as he met with business and home owners  who were affected by the tragedy and emergency officials.
He  praised the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, the Saint Lucia Fire Service, and the citizens of Soufriere for their quick response to the fire, saying that had it not been for  their intervention, an already tragic situation could have escalated.
PM with firemen

Member of Parliament for Soufriere-Fond St. Jacques,  Harold Dalsan was out of state at the time, but he said that he would cut his trip short with immediate effect to return home.

The Prime Minister was joined by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure,  Philip J. Pierre; Minister for Home Affairs, Philip La Corbinierre; and Minister for Commerce,  Emma Hippolyte, who is herself a Soufriere native.

 The fire that started shortly before midnight on Thursday, October 22, 2015, destroyed six buildings and left a further five damaged along Bridge Street and Sir Arthur Lewis Street in the western community of Soufriere.

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1 Comment

  1. Watcher
    October 24, 2015 at 10:21 pm Reply

    Why is it that the two fire trucks from the Soufriere Fire Station were unable to pump water from the sea which is only a few hundred yards from the inferno? Yes the fire trucks have a limited supply of water and the water pressure in each hydrant was low so why didn’t they start drafting water from the sea near the Soufriere Waterfront which is almost an infinite source of water? It was reported in the news that the Marine Police had to bring down a pump and additional lengths of fire hose so it could be that the Soufriere Fire Station lacked sufficient suction hose to relay water from the sea. Going forward the authorities must ensure that each Fire Station is fully equipped to pump water from the sea or a nearby marina, river or pond. It also points to the need for Fire Stations or Auxiliary Fire Departments in Anse-la-Raye, Canaries, Choiseul and Laborie which, if in existence, could have deployed resources to assist the Soufriere Fire Station in fighting this October 2015 Soufriere Inferno. Alternatively we could invest in one fireboat which could rapidly be deployed to any of our towns and villages since the commercial centres of these communities are close to the coastline. We keep hearing the usual platitudes after each major fire but what is being done between fires to ensure that we are better prepared to handle the next inferno?

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