$358 Million in Property Lost to Fire in Hanover


The Hanover Fire Brigade has reported some $358 million in property loss as a result of fires in the parish during the first three months of the year, with $2.8 billion at risk.
Superintendent of the Hanover Fire Brigade, Morine Thompson, told JIS News that a demonstration at the Fiesta Hotel construction site at Point during the month of February, in which several buildings and vehicles were destroyed, was mostly responsible for the high losses during the period.
Meanwhile, she said that the Brigade responded to 168 emergency calls during the period, of which 130 were fire-related, 15 were malicious false alarms, five were false alarms with good intent, while 18 were categorized as special service calls.
The Fire Brigade Superintendent explained that of the 168 emergency calls over the three-month period, 36 were received in January, 59 in February, and 73 in the month of March.
She blamed the high figures in March on the beginning of the dry season and the continued use of slashing and burning practices by farmers to clear land for planting, but indicated that the department will again be taking its fire prevention programme to farmers and other residents of the parish.
“We will have to go up into the hills again to see if we can sensitize the farmers, and also with the assistance of other agencies, we try to spread the message to see if we could get people to practise better fire prevention precaution, so that it can reduce the number of calls that we are receiving,” she told JIS News. “The message that we want to send out to the farmers, is that as much as is possible, avoid slashing and burning, and if they do try to burn, they have to supervise it to see that it does not get out of control. To the public in general, be careful how you light garbage and how you discard cigarette butts, and as usual, practise the all familiar household precautions,” the Fire Superintendent advised.
Meanwhile, she pointed to the need for another fire unit to adequately meet the needs of the parish.

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