The Diamond Fire Service came under fire over its presumably delayed response to the blaze at the popular G3 Building, which is located just a few minutes away from its location.
The blaze at the multi-complex building began at around 11:39hrs yesterday and yet the Fire Service took longer than expected to arrive on the scene.
Additionally, the Fire Service was accused of taking a lengthy amount of time before it sourced water to help douse the inferno, which initially started in the right upper-flat of the building.
In fact, water tenders from Central Georgetown and West Ruimveldt were called out to provide assistance, even though a canal filled with water was nearby.
By the time the fire was put out, the entire upper-flat of the building was gutted, and with it, millions of dollars worth of gym equipment.
Divisional Fire Officer Gregory Wickham contended that the Fire Service did a good job.
“After we would’ve received the call, we had two vehicles dispatched to the scene. After a period of time based on initial assessment, we had a third vehicle turning up to the scene and by the use of those three vehicles and appliances, we were able to bring the fire under control.
“Only the top floor of the structure was destroyed by fire, the remaining floors are safe…,” he told reporters at the scene.
Wickham added: “Other people would have their comments, but I think we did a professional job.”
Nonetheless, he admitted to having difficulties accessing water. “The water was receding back into the sea, so we went to the NDC and had them close the koker,” Wickham stated.
But he asserted that this was done simultaneously with the firefighting efforts. “We didn’t wait until the water was exhausted and then go to NDC.”
Deonarine Etwaroo, owner of the pharmacy on the lower flat of the building, slammed the Fire Service over its slow response.
“You can interview anybody out there and they would tell you how long these people take to get water,” Etwaroo argued as he contended that the other Fire Stations are responsible for saving the entire building.
Another business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed that the Fire Service took too long to begin dousing the flames. The business owner questioned the type of training the firemen undergo to respond to these emergencies.
Other eyewitnesses who spoke with this publication expressed similar views.
An investigation has since been launched to determine the cause of the fire.