A bush fire swept through Cyprus Gardens in Union Hall, San Fernando, yesterday, threatening more than 60 homes and forcing some residents to evacuate their pets.
Fanned by the midday breeze, the fire quickly moved uphill towards the Cyprus Gardens residential community where dozens of residents began mobilizing their own bucket brigade.
One resident, Tyrone Raghonanan, said the smoke was intolerable and he had to quickly take his pets out of the house. Other residents used garden hoses to extinguish the flames.
Raghonanan placed leashes on his pet German Shephards Zuma and Rocky, and took them to another street.
“I walked through a track to get onto Chestnut Avenue where the smoke was not so bad,” he said, adding that it was fortunate that no properties were damaged by the fire.
Fire officers arrived on the scene around 11 am and spent more than four hours battling the blaze. They doused areas close to the houses to prevent any mishaps.
By 4.30 pm, the fire officers had managed to bring the fire under control. Officers from the Princes Town and San Fernando Fire Stations visited the scene. They said it was possible that the fire started near an unfinished apartment complex at Union Hall. It spanned a radius of over four acres.
Although some residents expressed concern that the fires were burning on an NGC line, a fire officer at the scene said there was no risk of explosions because of the depth of the lines.
Fire officers are expected to monitor the area in case the fire reignites.
This is the second major bush fire reported in as many weeks. Since April 13, a bush fire has been burning at Mahaica, Point Fortin, triggering mass evacuation by residents. That fire reignited several times because of the tar sands and oil seepages in the area. Foam was used to suppress the flames and the area is still being monitored by fire officers.
Resident Althea Williams said the fire continues to burn.