A man described as a vagrant, is believed to have caused a fire in an abandoned building at Bishop’s Gap, Castries, on Sunday night residents of the community say.
Krishan Mendez, who lives nearby and whose Nissan SUV was parked at the site where the fire occurred, told reporters on Monday that the man who stayed in the abandoned building had nowhere to sleep.
“He was there last night when I came there – he was sitting outside. What I am saying, if you’re taking drugs or you’re high or something and your bed catches on fire, at least come and call me because I live right there and I would come and take out my vehicle,” Mendez stated.
“But he just disappeared – nobody knows where he is,” he disclosed.
Mendez said he lost his vehicle as a result of the fire.
He recalled that he was at home when someone called to say that the house at which the vehicle was parked was in flames, but by the time he got there he could nothing else but watch the Nissan Pathfinder burn.
Mendez expressed the view that had the Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) arrived earlier, the situation would have been averted.
“If they were on time that wouldn’t happen because they took about 40 minutes – 45 minutes from Castries and that’s Bishop’s Gap. That’s way too long. I came there and the vehicle wasn’t on fire. I tried and take a hose but what wasn’t enough. If they came earlier I wouldn’t have to deal with that because I just lost a couple thousand dollars right now. I am just trying to take it the best way possible and not stress myself over it,” he asserted.
The Saint Lucia Fire Service said officers at the Fire Service Headquarters with assistance from the Babonneau Fire Station, responded to a call relating to a structural fire at Bishop’s Gap in Castries on Sunday at approximately 10:50 p.m.
According to Communications Officer, Stacy Joseph, emergency personnel found a two storey concrete structure fully engulfed in flames.
Joseph said the structure, which measured approximately 45 x 110 feet, was reported as being an abandoned property with 2 vehicles inside the building on the ground floor.
She explained that the responding officers encountered some difficulty in accessing the scene due to the narrow roads and indiscriminate parking of vehicles.
However, the SLFS official said that the fire was quickly brought under control with only the contents of the structure completely destroyed.
“No other properties were reported affected or persons reported injured as it relates to this incident,” Joseph stated.
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