Thursday night fire damage numerous houses – Antigua

Fire-hit families in Point have been left counting the cost of the damage after Thursday night’s devastating blaze which destroyed several homes.

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The fire broke out shortly after 7.30pm on lower St George’s Street and is thought to have started on the top floor of a two-storey property.

Fire Chief Elvis Weaver told Observer yesterday that at least four homes had been totally destroyed and two more damaged, describing the incident as a “rough time” for his team.

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“There were some water challenges at first,” he conceded. “The fire truck from All Saints only carries 369 gallons and the water ran out naturally.

Weaver also took the opportunity to respond to claims on social media that firefighters had arrived with no water in their trucks.

“Soon after, a water truck came to assist and eventually two more water trucks – one from the port and one from a private gentleman who committed to working with us.

“So we had water challenges at first but I want to set the record straight that the Fire Department would never respond to any fire without water.

“Any water truck will eventually run out once it’s a big fire – whether you have 1,000 gallons, 2,000 gallons or 500,” he explained.

A truck from Coolidge also attended the scene, Weaver said.

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Meanwhile, pledges of help from the community have flooded in in the aftermath of the disaster.

Dr Jacqui Quinn, former Member of Parliament and President of the Concerned Citizens group, told Observer last night that the body had spent Friday making contact with the affected residents to assess their needs.

“We are doing our best to find accommodation for those who don’t have it with families, and address some of the immediate needs, such as clothing, baby food and bottles for a seven-month-old baby girl and clothing for a 10-year-old boy,” she explained.

“So we’re appealing to the business community, to those who have accommodation that’s not occupied right now – hotels, bed and breakfasts, apartment units – that can take in these persons who have been displaced by the fire.”

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Fire Chief Weaver said the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

‘Outpouring of love’ for fire-hit Point families left counting costs of devastating blaze  Antigua Observer

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