Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace on Monday asked why none of the three fire trucks bought for Argyle International Airport were deployed to help fight the fire that destroyed three government buildings in Kingstown on Sunday.
A raging inferno, the second in a week, destroyed three unoccupied government buildings, including one that housed the Electoral Office, and another where the Treasury and Social Welfare Departments were once located.
Officials are yet to comment on the blaze, which was brought under control around 9 p.m. Sunday, some four hours after the alarm was raised.
A fire truck from E.T. Joshua Airport was deployed to help fight the blaze.
I-Witness News understand that one of three state-of-the-art fire trucks intended for the Argyle airport, which is still under construction, was placed on standby at E.T. Joshua Airport, where they are being held, to allow the airport to remain open.
On Sunday, onlookers raised questions about why the ladder on the fire truck that is usually located in Kingstown was not used to assist in fighting the fire.
Speaking on his radio programme, Eustace said: “I understand you had the same problem with the fire truck not functioning as it should.”
He noted that a fire truck was dispatched from the E.T. Joshua Airport.
“I am saying if you have three fire trucks for the airport, why would you have water leaking out of hoses and hindering our ability to deal with the fire, what is happening with the trucks that are here awaiting the opening of the [Argyle] airport?” Eustace said.
“They should be used in the meantime. And I am asking that question here now for the government to answer: why are these fire trucks not being used at this time to save property and lives?
“No lives have been lost but, surely, if we have three new fire trucks here, the airport is not opened now, why can’t they be used in cases such as this?” Eustace said.
Sunday’s fire was the second in the nation’s capital in one week.
On Aug. 16, a fire gutted Coreas Mini Mart.
A fire truck from E.T. Joshua Airport was also deployed to help fight that blaze.
Eustace also expressed concerns about the impact of the fire on the Registry, located adjacent to one of the buildings gutted in Sunday’s blaze.
Sources say that there was water damage to the Registry.
Speaking on his weekly radio programme, Eustace said:
“I am still awaiting the details on the extent of the damage at the Registry where all the documents and so many things are stored. I am hoping that different from what I am hearing that it is not too extensive and a lot of that can be rescued,” he said.
“It’s a terrible thing to lose those kinds of records. It can hinder a lot and create suspicions,” he said, adding that this is already the case based on some of the comments he is hearing.