Bush Fire Threatens Freeport Homes

Bush Fire Threatens Freeport Homes

17 October 2008

published by www.jonesbahamas.com

Bahamas — A bush fire broke out in the Imperial Park subdivision in Freeport on Thursday afternoon, and even though the blaze was said to be contained, it continued to burn up to press time last night, leaving residents concerned as they watched the fire creep close to their homes.

Residents of the subdivision were concerned that there were no fire hydrants in Imperial Park, but the developer of the subdivision pointed out that two fire hydrants were on a dual carriageway two streets away.
 The Journal received several calls in Thursday from residents who were concerned that their homes and personal possessions would be destroyed by a fire blazing right in the back of their yards.

According to residents of Alexis Drive in Imperial Park, the fire was first noticed shortly after noon Thursday.

When the Journal arrived on the scene shortly after 1:00 p.m., smoke had already enveloped most of the area and some residents were sitting on their back steps of their houses watching the blaze as the wind kept shifting the direction of the thick gray smoke.

Residents said they were not leaving because fire fighters had told them that they were monitoring the situation and, as one resident put it, “since they’re monitoring it, we are going to monitor it too.”

A fire truck arrived while the Journal news team was on the scene, but residents were concerned that there were no fire hydrants in the subdivision to assist the firemen in battling this blaze.

Firemen scouting the area said an evacuation was not warranted at the time, and that they were on the ground assessing the situation. They said that the homes were adequately spaced out from each other and that the fire seemed confined to the bushes at the rear of the homes.

“It is not dangerous to the point where they have to be evacuated yet,” a fireman said.

At 2:43 p.m, the Journal contacted the office of Kendal Williams Construction, the developers of the Imperial Park Subdivision and was told that the owners were out of town in Florida.

However staff members said that they were aware of the fire and were told that it was under control.

However, minutes later, the owners Kendal and Jennifer Williams called The Journal from Florida and explained that they also own small subdivision two streets down from Imperial Park, and on this street, two fire hydrants were erected.

Mrs. Williams said, “the fire hydrants are right in Britannia. They don’t have to go out on the Mall (Drive). There are two fire hydrants in Britannia Estates. We cannot put a fire hydrant in front of their doors. So the fire hydrants are on the main dual carriageway in Britannia. It is not on anybody’s property.”

“The fire hydrants are right where the Port Authority approved them to go. If the Port wanted fire hydrants through there, they would have told us. The fire hydrants are right where we were told they should go – two streets down and it is not even a minute away.”

Imperial Park Subdivision has 49 homes on one street, and another street will have an additional 50 homes when fully developed.

The small subdivision is eight years old, whereas Britannia Subdivision is four years old.

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