Saturday, April 28, 2012

Grass Fires Alarm

Barbados has recorded almost double the number of grass fires this year than during the same period last year. In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Acting Chief Fire Officer Errol Maynard reported that, up to Tuesday, the Barbados Fire Service had responded to 587 grass fires compared to 310 in 2011.

 He said a large number of fires had been recorded in St Philip, speculating the reason was the parish’s wide grassy areas, but stopped short of blaming arson. “There are varying causes; we cannot say people are deliberately lighting fires as it could be fires that got out of control. It is the dry season, so once you burn anything, the possibility of it getting out of control is real,” he said.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Rescued From Burning Boat

Two good samaritans from St Maarten rescued eight Barbadians near a burning boat off the West Coast of Barbados yesterday afternoon.

Chef Vanessa Bruc said they had been travelling for four days and were tired when they saw yellow smoke. She said they did not see anyone aboard the burning yacht.

“We looked further around and we saw a dingy with eight people on it, pretty packed. So we came for them and we rescued them,” she said, adding that the stranded eight were happy to see her and the captain of Blue Passion.

Blue Passion captain Gregg Langridge said the dingy was leaking air and taking in water when they got to it. Langridge said they picked the men up and took them to Port St Charles where they were docking. The eight were aboard the yacht Big Deal, which is owned by Sidney Brooker of Frere Pilgrim, Christ Church.

The yacht was destroyed in the blaze. A team from the Barbados Coast Guard responded but by the time they got to the site, the eight were already aboard the Blue Passion.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Police Concern Over Accidents

Several accidents occurred on Barbados’ roads yesterday, keeping Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) personnel busy throughout the day. During the Morning Traffic Report on VOB 92.9 FM, personnel from the RBPF’s Operations Control reported 11 accidents during the morning and urged road users to exercise extreme care.

In an accident, which occurred after 9 a.m. about halfway between the Henry Forde Roundabout and the Deighton Griffith School, 52-year-old Terry Clarke of Inchscape, Christ Church, and 50-year-old Herbert Cumberbatch of Rendezvous in the same parish suffered various injuries. Both vehicles were extensively damaged, with Clarke and his wife Virginia waiting for over 25 minutes in their wrecked vehicle for the arrival of ambulance personnel.

Virginia was driving a Ford Focus car, which was heading towards The City. The Clarkes’ children, Regina and Division 1 cricketer Marquez, were at the accident scene. The driver of the other vehicle, 39-year-old Wendell Alkins, appeared unhurt, but Cumberbatch, who was travelling in the tray of a Nissan van, complained of neck and back pains. Meanwhile, reports indicate that along Husbands Road, St Michael, two cars were damaged in a collision and over at Bush Hall, St Michael, a truck and car were involved in an accident, with the car being extensively damaged. Police Inspector David Welch told the Daily Nation:

“We are concerned about the number of accidents that are occurring on our roads. In the south alone a total of six accidents were reported yesterday and the Royal Barbados Police Force is appealing to all road users to cooperate with other road users and practise defensive driving on our island’s roads.” Up to Press time, Welch could not confirm the number of accidents that occurred yesterday on the roads. (KB/RL)

Rains Give Firefighters Respite From Fires

Yesterday's persistent rainfall gave fire officers a well deserved respite after the upsurge in grass and cane fires experienced during the last few weeks. Fire officers have responded to as many as 15 to 20 fires per day.

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to those individuals who have rendered invaluable assistance to the Fire Service during the past few weeks. The recent increase in grass fires across the island has stretched the resources of the department on several occasions.

However, we remain committed to the task of protecting the lives, property and environment of those who live, work, visit or invest in Barbados.

(Photo) Fire officers being assisted by Mr. Jerry Pile with his Range Rover at a recent grass fire.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bus Ablaze

It was a close shave for a St Thomas man yesterday when the vehicle he was driving became ablaze. Dale Bradshaw, 41, of Redman’s Village, was travelling along Fitts Village, St James, towards Bridgetown when the minibus B44 caught fire around 12:30 p.m.

Bradshaw, who was alone, escaped unhurt, but the vehicle was destroyed. Three fire officers and one fire tender from the Arch Hall Fire Station responded. Investigations are continuing. Here, firemen making sure all is well after the earlier flames.



The Barbados Fire Service has raised an alarm about Government’s first four-storey high-rise housing complex at Country Park Towers, Country Road, St Michael.

 Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall, who in 2008 urged the National Housing Corporation (NHC) to include the Fire Service in its plans in the construction of high-rise buildings, told the SUNDAY SUN officers had detected several issues with the complex and a report was being submitted to the NHC.

While he did not divulge details, because the report was still being prepared, Marshall confirmed that a team from the fire prevention unit had toured the complex earlier this year. He said there were issues such as lack of fire extinguishers, the inability of the residents to access the locked emergency doors, and ventilation along the corridors.


Barbados Postal Service 160th Anniversary

We extend our sincere congratulations to the Management and Staff of the Barbados Postal Service on the occasion of their 160th Anniversary. We appreciate the BPS's commitment to providing 160 years of dedicated service to our nation and the world.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

House Razed

A fire at Checker Hall Tenantry Road No. 2, St Lucy, destroyed an unoccupied wooden house on Monday night. Two tenders – one from the Arch Hall Fire Station and the other from Weston Fire Station – under the command of Station Officer Willis O’Neal, responded to the blaze, which started after 7 p.m.

A small gathering of curious onlookers watched as the fire was quickly brought under control. Monday night’s fire added to an already busy day for firefighters, who had earlier battled the blaze at Workbench that started in the wee hours of that morning. Here, fire officers battling the blaze at Checker Hall.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Early Morning Blaze Destroys Workbench Furniture

One of Barbados’ most renowned furniture manufacturing companies was destroyed in an early morning fire today.

The fire at Workbench Furniture Limited started just before 3 a.m., and officials of the Barbados Fire Service (BFS) finally brought it under control more than three hours later.

But even after 10 a.m. , as motorists drove past the razed building on the Spring Garden Highway, smoke could still be seen coming from several areas along the western side the complex.

The walls of large building were still upright, but it was clear the business had been gutted. Public relations officer of the Royal Barbados Police Force, Inspector David Welch, said that even after the blaze had been brought under control around 6.10 a.m. firemen and police remained at the scene to ensure no further flare-ups.

Welch said, the building, owned by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), was insured.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fire Destroys Six Stores In Regent Street Guyana

Fire-fighters are at this hour still battling a major fire on Regent Street in Guyana. The fire which started around 05:00 hours this morning quickly engulfed and destroyed a building housing six stores on Regent and Waterloo Streets.  Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle has informed the media that eight fire trucks responded, unfortunately, six stores were destroyed during the blaze. He indicated that burglar bars on the building posed a serious challenge. (Photo compliments: A. Bynoe)