March 07, 2013
Fire Services Department personnel, whose primary responsibilities include extinguishing and preventing fires, were responsible for a blaze yesterday that engulfed a portion of a building on the Royal Bahamas Police Force Headquarters compound on East Street.
Dense black smoke billowed into the air and could be seen from several miles away.
Upon arrival at the scene, two teams of firefighters worked to put out the fire that had already destroyed the roof of the building, located in the southern section of the facility.
Deputy Commissioner Quinn McCartney said members of the fire department began a "controlled burn" on the compound around 10 a.m.
"Sometime around 2 p.m. smoke was seen coming from the roof of a building we call Ranfurly House here at Police Headquarters," McCartney said.
"It is believed that as a result of shift in the wind direction, one of the embers would have fallen onto the roof of the building and it subsequently caught fire.
"Because of the age of the roof, it's an old timber roof, the fire spread very quickly."
The fire was contained around 4 p.m.
McCartney told reporters that apart from a small portion of that building that was used as the force's fire control room, the building was not occupied.
The Ranfurly House was one of the buildings initially eyed to house a forensic and DNA lab, which McCartney, a forensics expert, previously said would be completed in late 2012 to early 2013.
The first set of drawings was completed in November 2011.
When asked if the damage to the building was a setback to establishing the DNA lab, McCartney said Ranfurly House was just one of the sites looked at for a DNA lab.
"No firm decision was made on the use of Ranfurly House," he explained.
"Again, it is a building that was undergoing renovations and no firm determination had been made by the commissioner as to what it would be used for."
Though he was not prepared to give a comprehensive update, McCartney suggested funding was not in place to go forward with the project.
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News date : 03/07/2013 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories