Five house fires in St. Lucia over the weekend have left more than a dozen persons homeless and caused about a million dollars in damages.
No injuries or death were reported in any of the incidents and the causes of the fires are not yet known.
The first fire – and by far the worst of the three incidents – occurred on George Cooper Road in Faux-a-Chaud, Castries on Saturday morning at about 9:00, destroying three wooden houses and leaving at least eight persons homeless, according to Timothy Charles, the division officer in charge of operations for the north of the island.
Charles told St. Lucia News Online that the fire apparently began in a house owned by a Beverly George and rapidly spread to two neighbouring houses owned by Fabian James and a man called Elton.
George’s house, which accommodated a family of six, incurred losses of about $67,500. The other houses, Charles said, resulted in damages of $26,500 and $87,600. He said only James and Elton occupied the other two houses.
About 11 hours on Saturday, March 9 disaster struck again, this time in the small community of Au Tabor in Anse La Raye.
The top floor of a two-story house was destroyed by fire which began at about 8 p.m. Charles said about six persons were living on the top floor of the house owned by a Mr. Frederick.
Damages are estimated at $750,000.
The latest house fire occurred just after midnight on Monday, March 11 in Monchy, but it was not as devastating as the first two reports.
Charles said by the time fire officers reached the scene, the blaze was extinguished by neighbours. He said the one-bedroom dwelling, occupied by one person, was partially damaged.
Charles said it appeared that unattended cooking may have been the cause of the fire. He said the “cook” apparently fell asleep.
No damages were estimated for the Monchy incident, and Charles said the fire services reported no difficulties in the first two incidents in light of the dry season.