Structural fire in Pigeon Peas

A fire that broke out in the Pigeon Peas shantytown on Abaco on Wednesday night has not affected any operations to clean up the area, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Director Captain Stephen Russell said yesterday.

“From what I gather, it was contained, so there are no challenges with continuing the operations and securing the debris from the area,” he said.

Central and South Abaco MP James Albury said that while he was still gathering details on the incident, he does not believe anyone was harmed.

“That is one [of] the areas that is actively being cleared by a heavy equipment contractor, and as the vast majority of structures there were demolished or leveled by the storm, I believe I can safely assume that no one was, or at least should not have been, residing there,” he said.

“I have not received any information indicating any loss of life or injuries, but I am seeking to clarify the facts.”

Pastor Silbert Mills, who witnessed the fire, said there was some difficulty getting the necessary equipment to the fire, but the matter was resolved relatively quickly.

“I was at the location just after 9:30 last evening where a structural fire occurred in a section of the Pigeon Peas and it was a structure that had been damaged from Hurricane Dorian,” he said.

“The local volunteer firefighters had some issues, because all of their equipment in Central Abaco was damaged or destroyed by the hurricane, so they had to wait until equipment came from Casuarina Point, which is about 18 miles south of Marsh Harbour. Once that got to the site, they were able to knock it down and contain it pretty quickly.”

He added, “Today the area continues to smolder, but there’s no flame or anything, and it didn’t spread at all.”

The Pigeon Peas shantytown suffered extensive damage in Hurricane Dorian. The government issued contracts for the cleanup of the debris in the shantytowns two weeks ago.

Mills said that Simmons Construction, which is responsible for the cleanup of that area, also had to help by providing water from its container truck.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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