Fire breaks out at Cassada Gardens mechanic shop

The fire is said to have started at the back of a mechanic shop in an abandoned house. (Photos by Observer’s Kadeem Joseph)
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By Elesha George

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Cassada Gardens Number Three was the scene of the latest fire that had residents calling for more fire trucks to be made available in the country.

“Tell Gaston we want more fire trucks,” hollered a female resident who looked on as her neighbours filled buckets and used their own hose to contain the blaze that had already gutted the better part of an adjacent property.

Mechanic St Clair Smith was at lunch when he received a call to notify him that there was a fire on the land where he operated his business.

Based on reports from eye witnesses, the fire started at the back of the mechanic shop in an abandoned house.

Smith believes the “dry spell” could be the cause of the fire. Visibly distraught, the 68-year-old told Observer that his main concern was a car he was repairing in the yard.

“I had some old cars behind there but one car I’m concerned about is a Corolla,” he said.

He has no insurance for the property.

Neighbours said they were able to remove other cars that were on the site when the fire started.

Janet, who lives directly across from the shop along with a few other residents, told Observer she was alerted about the fire by her daughter.

When she arrived, she saw people “throwing water” on the property.

The fire began about 2pm and according to some residents the fire truck came “without water”.

However, one onlooker explained to Observer that “a truck from St John’s Police Station come with water and then it come with a backup. But what happened is, I think they approached the fire from the wrong direction”.

An elderly couple lived nearest to the fire.

It was their nephew, Conroy Thomas, who spent more than 40 minutes using potable water through a hose to cool down the ground of the boundary line.

“An old house in the back basically started the fire and blew the blaze coming back west,” he said.

“I have to save my aunt house, I can’t let it burn down,” he remarked as he noted that he was using government’s water to help.

Meanwhile, Bernard, one occupant of the house, explained what he saw.

“Me see smoke and then when me look me see a lot of fire and them call the fire truck,” he said.

He blames high grass which was allowed to grow in the area for the fire.

“It cya be nuttin else, ah the grass,” he commented adding, “you couldn’t see the car and them.”

He said however that the firefighters did “a good job”.

There were no reports of casualties.

Fire officials were approached for comment.

A spokesman confirmed the building that caught fire was abandoned and unoccupied and said further details would be forthcoming.

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