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Probe thwarted as WASA fire re-ignites

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Investigations into the cause of the blaze at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) St Joseph headquarters have stalled because of a re-ignition of the fire on Wednesday afternoon.

Fire Services sources said yesterday fire officers were unable to enter the main building at the administrative complex on Wednesday to conduct investigations.

As a result, the cause of the fire remains unknown. Sources, however, dismissed claims that a device set to go off at a particular time was discovered at the scene of the fire.

The Fire Services source also quashed rumours that important files kept in the registry area of the second floor where the fire started were destroyed. He said the fire took place in a “large area” but not in the records section as reported. 

Despite speculation that the fire may be linked to an upcoming audit of the authority, the source said its origin remained unknown up to this point.

The fire broke out on Tuesday afternoon and was contained by fire officers shortly after 7 pm. However, officers were called back to WASA after the fire re-ignited. The source said a certain amount of heat in the area restarted the blaze.

“The area is not safe and investigators are yet to determine the cause of the fire because they are trying to assess from the outside if the building is safe. We have to ensure that the area is safe for the investigators,” one officer told the T&T Guardian.

WASA’s communications manager Daniel Plenty yesterday confirmed the source of the fire was yet to be determined. As for an update on investigations, he said that was the Fire Services’ responsibility.

Plenty also withheld comment on claims the fire was maliciously set.

Camille Clarke and Yvonne Baboolal