Truck responding to Point fire was carrying water, Weaver insists, while Browne says two new tenders will be bought soon

Fire Chief Elvis Weaver is refuting claims that, on Thursday night, the fire tender arrived without water at the St. George Street fire, and he has stopped just short of calling the allegations nonsense.

The Chief says that trucks are inspected during a shift change to ensure they are carrying adequate water.  However, even if a tender had a capacity to hold 5,000 gallons of water it would run out.

Weaver notes that the trucks the Fire Department now operates do not carry a large volume of water.  In fact, he says the maximum capacity is about 400 gallons.

Notwithstanding that, he insists that the truck did have water when it arrived at the fire scene in The Point.  Further, Weaver says the fire fighters actually saved two houses from going up in flames.

He reports that, when the officers arrived, at least four houses were fully engulfed in flames; therefore, they tried to save other neighbouring properties. 

Weaver says the fire truck eventually ran out of water, and so assistance was sought from the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority and three private trucks.

In total, the Chief reports that four homes were completely destroyed while two others sustained some heat damage.  The exact cause of the fire is still being investigated; but, based on interviews with home owners, the fire originated in a two-storey house.

In an interview today, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, the parliamentary representative for the area, claims he received information that the fire was the result of someone smoking.

Meanwhile, Weaver has admitted that the delay with the tender arriving in The Point was that it had to travel to the scene from All Saints.  He says the tender at the St. John’s Fire Station is still out of commission but is being worked on in earnest.

The Prime Minister claims that monies were dispatched today, March 11, to purchase a new fire tender.  He says that, in short order, another sum will be made available to purchase a second truck, both for St. John’s Fire Station.