SVG

Buccament Bay Resort fire was ‘minor’ – company lawyer

Simon Terry, Harlequin Property’s U.K.-based solicitor, says the blaze at Buccament Bay Resort in St. Vincent was “minor”.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – There is “no evidence to suggest foul play” in the fire at the Buccament Bay resort last weekend, a lawyer for the company has told I-Witness News.

Simon Terry, Harlequin Property’s U.K.-based solicitor, said in an email statement that the blaze was a minor one in an unoccupied section of the resort and did not disrupt operations there. (Read full statement below)

He said the cause of the fire was being investigated.

I-Witness News on Wednesday published a photograph submitted by a reader that shows resort employees using buckets and garden hoses to fight the fire.

“… it has to be remembered that this picture was taken very shortly after the alarm was raised and shows some quick thinking staff members using their initiative prior to the arrival of more sophisticated equipment,” Terry said.

However, the photographer did not give an indication of how soon after the blaze started that the photograph was taken.

“As it happens, the fire was so minor that it was brought under control very quickly without the need for bespoke fire fighting equipment,” he further said, adding that Harlequin “would like to publically praise the quick thinking members of staff who dealt with this minor incident quickly and decisively”.

Terry, however, did not respond on the record to questions about the resort’s emergency evacuation protocols and calls to radio programmes that some workers at the resort were not receiving their wages and salaries on time.

I-Witness News questions to Harlequin Property regarding the fire at Buccament Bay Resort:

  1. What was the cause of the fire?
  2. What was the extent of the damage?
  3. How, if in any way, were operations at the resort affected?
  4. A photo suggests that buckets of water and garden hoses were used to fight the fire. Is this so? Further, what fire-fighting mechanisms are installed at the resort? Can you please briefly outline the resort’s evacuation protocols in the event of fire or other similar developments?
  5. Callers to several radio programmes in St. Vincent say that some workers at the resort have not been receiving their wages and salaries on time. Is this so. If yes, why?

Full statement by Simon Terry, company solicitor for Harlequin Property on the fire at Buccament Bay Resort in St. Vincent last weekend:

There was a minor fire in one of the villas at Buccament Bay last weekend. The villa itself is one which is currently being used for storage, away from the occupied properties and there was no significant damage either to the villa or its contents. The cause of the fire is being investigated but there is no evidence to suggest foul play. The photograph already published shows buckets of water and hoses being used to fight the fire but it has to be remembered that this picture was taken very shortly after the alarm was raised and shows some quick thinking staff members using their initiative prior to the arrival of more sophisticated equipment. As it happens, the fire was so minor that it was brought under control very quickly without the need for bespoke fire fighting equipment. The fire presented no risk to the hotel or its guests and caused no disruption to the operation whatsoever. Harlequin would like to publically praise the quick thinking members of staff who dealt with this minor incident quickly and decisively.

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Discussion

10 thoughts on “Buccament Bay Resort fire was ‘minor’ – company lawyer

  1. This is a wake-up call. It takes minutes for a building – any building to be burnt to the ground. How long will it take for a fire truck to get to G/town or Chato? There has to be some form of fire fighting equipment in every village and every town. I hope some body is listening before we have some serious triuble.

    Posted by Vere | May 12, 2012, 00:12
  2. Funny Mr. Simon Terry didn’t answer why ppl haven’t been payed.
    He’s more worried how the fire and lack of fire help would make his company look bad to tourist. All about money $$$
    Just to bad they can’t pay there employees.

    Posted by Lopaz | May 12, 2012, 01:20
  3. How is it that the lawyer for the company was so quick to answer questions about the fire and was not able to answer any about employees not being paid?. Kenton, is there any way you can get some authority to put some sort of pressure on these people to answer the question of employees not getting paid. I have heard so many complains of employees not getting paid and it does not reflect good on the company and it seems like exploitation of my people. I notice in one of the local news papers this week that they say the company is very successful and a number of positions are being advertised. If the company is so successful why cant workers get their pay?.

    Also why is there not a loclal number to reach anyone concerning that company?. Please Kenton can you try to get them to answer the questions of employees not getting paid especially?..thanks

    Posted by AB | May 12, 2012, 07:53
  4. WHITE WASH

    Posted by Peter | May 12, 2012, 08:07
  5. All i would like to ask of Mr Terry if it was not arson it must have been spontaneous combustion and if so what was being stored in the unit, apart from furniture ?
    I would like to also ask of Mr Terry what happened to the fire engine that the resort stated in there planning application for the high rise apartment block they would purchase or is that hidden away along with the fire fighting equipment and non existent fire fighting training, water supply, sprinkler system and smoke detectors.
    Mr Terry also states the damage to be minor so why is it that the roof, doors, windows etc need to be replaced .
    But i suppose this is minor when you have numerous employees of both construction and the hotel complaining that they have not been paid, some for months most for six weeks or more.

    Posted by Henry | May 12, 2012, 11:24
  6. A Lawyer issuing a statement that is a lie, that must be the first time in history. Just pay the people their money, one thing crooks have in common is they like to have too much press conference. Stop issuing press statements and pay the workers.

    Posted by blane | May 12, 2012, 20:52
  7. With respect to Mr Terry , does the photos look like minor fire. It look like a ruined building

    Staff were hurt from smoke and burns.

    Now Harlequin have sacked the Doctor. So what happens when a Guest or Staff is really sick and needs help ?

    Pay Staff and Contractors, everyone is happy and nothing happens

    H

    Posted by Harry James | May 13, 2012, 15:16
  8. HENRY, this type of fire is often caused by an electrical fault.

    What I found rather disturbing was the black smoke, which is probably coming from furniture, foam rubber etc.

    Hotel furnishings and curtains are usually made to a fire resistant standard. Have they used any fire resistant or fire proof items when furnishing these cottages or whatever name you should apply to this low cost type of housing.
    Or have they just bought what is generally sold in stores and furniture suppliers. Most Chinese furnishing do not meet required standards, and I understand a lot of the furnishings are Chinese.

    In the UK there are specific guidelines for ‘sleeping accommodation’ which directly apply to materials. Hotels must meet the requirements of BS5867 Part 2 Type B when furnishing a room. This is a test where a flame is applied to the fabric for 15 seconds. In summary, this requires that if the fabric were to come into direct contact with a flame it would have a fire retardant quality for a short time by not burning to the edges or falling apart whilst burning.

    A major concern for hotels is fire safety, and hotel room furnishings are typically listed for sale using for standard definitions of levels of flame retardancy.
    FR = Fire Retardant, products which have been chemically treated to resist burning.
    IFR = Inherently Fire Retardant.
    PFR = Permanently Fire Retardant, products which are made of noncombustible materials.

    Fire retardant bed linen is a matter of fire prevention, because even when prohibited people still might smoke in a hotel room – particularly if they are leaving the next morning. When you cannot control how a guest behaves prevention is the only sure cure.

    Did the SVG planning department make any standards regarding hotel; room materials? If not why not? Has the SVG Fire Chief ever discussed this aspect with the Resort owners? If not why not? Has the tourist board ever considered this aspect? If not why not?

    If we genuinely want to become an important World Class tourist destination we must take on the responsibility of protecting tourists whilst they are in SVG.

    And we are attempting to build an International Airport, are we really ready yet? Can you just start to imagine what they have overlooked for the safety aspects of that.

    Donkey Dung Gonsalves, get that runner yard boy cousin of yours ‘Philistine Dung Francis’, he is at Buccament most of the time [don’t ask don’t tell], to do a quick research into the matter. This kind of publicity could wreck bookings at the resort if published in enough quarters.

    Posted by Peter | May 13, 2012, 17:35
  9. There is “no evidence to suggest foul play”………He said the cause of the fire was being investigated!
    How do we consolidate this? You know that there is no evidence of foul play while the fire is being investigated…. Sweet!

    Posted by roinuj | May 13, 2012, 19:50
  10. ROINUJ, remember at this time there is no evidence that it was not foul play either, no evidence either way. There are no qualified forensic fire investigators in SVG, so unless a smoking gun is found no one will ever know the truth.

    What we do know, if there was a major fire, the resort would never be able to cope with it. And that 30 year Landrover fire engine 4 miles away at the police station couldn’t put out a garden bonfire. Remember this so called 5 star resort with low income style housing, crammed closely together, will burn out of control with some wind assistance. Seeing all that black smoke, most guests will die from smoke inhalation before they burn.

    Is it 5 star? only the risk of staying there is 5 star.

    Worse still with no burns specialists at our minus 5 star hospital, no drugs or dressings, Cubans who you can’t understand any more than some of the Vincentian doctors and nurses who have great difficulty in speaking proper English.
    With only a couple of old bashed up small ambulances, what do you think will happen to the injured?

    Well I can tell you, wheel them in the front door of the hospital and straight out the back door. Mass grave.

    Donkey Dung Gonsalves, perhaps you can answer these questions. And whilst your at it, ask your woman if the furnishings she supplied were fit for hotel use.
    FR = Fire Retardant, products which have been chemically treated to resist burning.
    IFR = Inherently Fire Retardant.
    PFR = Permanently Fire Retardant, products which are made of noncombustible materials.
    I don’t think they were, seeing as where she purchased them from.

    I heard she got that huge fee for only furnishing 3 units, is that true, and why was she paid so much?

    WAKE UP PEOPLE AND SMELL THE DUNG

    Posted by Peter | May 15, 2012, 14:22

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