Nassau, The Bahamas – Public speculation and media rumours have prompted the Fire Marshall to reassure fire victims, the public, and the Government that investigations into the cause of the Kelly’s Dock fire are inconclusive. He stated it would take months before a complete report will be available to the public.
“The investigations are ongoing now and we have not put a cause to it, that is what may have caused or may not have caused the fire,” said Superintendent Deleveaux, Director of Fire Services.
“Presently the investigations are ongoing and basically that’s it. We do not have a cause at this time. The point of origin of the fire, we do not know as yet.”
Superintendent Deleveaux said that investigators would probably take months to be certain they have covered all areas of the investigation before publishing a comprehensive report. He added that they cannot come up with a conclusion until after investigations have been completed.
Witnesses that were on the scene around 8 a.m. at the start of the Valentine’s Day fire spoke openly to Government officials present at the fire scene.
The Fire Marshall said he welcomes any of the eyewitnesses and former employees of Betty K that were in the building during the beginning of the fire to come to him and report what they know about the origin of the fire.
“We have taken a number of statements, but the employees from Betty K have not presented themselves to us to give a statement. We would welcome those persons definitely,” said Superintendent Deleveaux.
“Let them come and do a statement for us. We would like to know. We would like to clear it up. As it is now, we are just searching for information.”
Fire Marshall Deleveaux was at the Kelly’s Dock fire from the start. He said the Fire Department’s quick response resulted from clear teamwork initiatives, state of the art technology, and the ability to draw the ocean water easily to extinguish the fire. Their procedure was like clockwork.
“It was a very difficult fire. The structure was really secured and that was the major hindrance for us to gain entrance to the building and we tried on several occasions,” said Superintendent Deleveaux.
“There was no smoke emanating until the fire really burst out. The only visible smoke was coming from the front entrance of the building. Later on after the temperature had built up in the structure, it forced it’s way throughout the small air condition units, mounted in windows. It was extremely dangerous to admit officers at that time in that structure.”
Fire Marshall Deleveaux said the difference between the Straw Market and the Kelly Dock fire was the ability to quickly access the water from the ocean.
“The Straw Market fire was able to use water from the sea but it was a very long time before they could access the water from the sea,” said Superintendent Deleveaux.
“With us, we were able to go direct to the sea as a source and put water on to the fire. In a short space of time, we were able to put water on it.”
By Gena Gibbs
BAHAMAS INFORMATION SERVICES