Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Fire Service Advocates Early Alarm Systems After Castries Fire

The Saint Lucia Fire Service is advocating an early alarm system for businesses after Thursday’s Castries fire.

The fire gutted the Adjodha building in the William Peter Boulevard which housed  the Voyager Variety Store.

According to Assistant Divisional Officer David Antoine, the issue of an early alarm system is a discussion that the fire service has been having and continues to have.

“If there was such a system in place that fire would have been detected early enough and we could have made an early enough response to contain that fire,” Antoine explained.

“I think that is a message that we should drive home – is to look at building codes and early warning systems when it comes to alarms so that we can assist property owners in safeguarding their structures,” the senior fire service official noted.

He disclosed that ccessibility was one of three challenges facing the Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) as firefighters battled Thursday’s fire.

According to  Antoine, on arrival at the fire scene the business place was secured under lock and key.

“There was no way we could get access to the area of the origin of the fire,” Antoine explained.

He said that the second challenge related to the fact that the building was old and had a wooden floor.

According to Antoine, as the fire burned it consumed the floor which collapsed.

“As a result we had to intermittently withdraw our men to prevent any injuries or fatalities during the operation,” he noted.

He revealed that the third challenge had to do with the fact that a restaurant operated from the building,

“There was a lot of combustible material there,” Antoine told reporters.

He said it included propane gas and textiles.

Firefighters fought the blaze for some three hours before  eventually bringing  it under control and were at the scene up to Friday for mop up operations.





    I am a bit surprised that there was no automatic Fire Alarm System in such a large building in the center
    of a city with such a history with fires. It was not really long ago, right there on Bridge Street, a commercial
    building went up in flames, a few years before that, M & C also burnt down. I remember reading Articles in the
    local Papers of one St.Lucian Engineer who lives abroad, who lobbied the J. Compton Admin: Re Legislation to
    implement Bylaws, Codes and Standards, in an effort to enforce such Standards, with Alarms, directly to the
    local fire Dept. at the same time that occupants could be notified by loud sounding alarms, either to grab a
    ‘Fire Extinguisher’ and or, to evacuate: All of this is secondary to (1) Fire Department making regular inspections
    to Buildings of all descriptions, to ensure the safety of both occupants, workers and the public with safe passage

  2. All this is called codes ,which all of them pass were the sun aint shine.And why was the place under lock at that time.can the owner explain to some smart reporter why.If we have smart reporters ?

  3. Lol under bolt and key 🙂 are those firefighters serious. Guess they had no Bolt cutters at the time lol typical…never prepared. I say now those fire fighters will be put to work by regulatory compliance by actually checking up on those business and high rises. Are st. Lucia willing to implement Fire Command panales and stations for high rises and business as in NYC. For the record I am a “Fire Life Safety Director” in NYC. By now given poor Fire response most to all building should implement sprinkles to help combat fires.

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