by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – A fire at the Nevis Cultural Complex occurred on July 27, 2023, according to Fire Sub Station Officer Timothy Martin.
“We had a fire at the Nevis Cultural Complex. Culturama just launched yesterday (July 27)—so the official opening. They had an event at the complex—unfortunately, one of the booths caught fire, and based on conversations with different persons—the fire seemed to have been of an electrical nature. But it is still under investigation. Other findings may turn up,” said the Fire Sub Station Officer during the July 28 broadcast of Fireproof on Island Tea.
Four fire officers extinguished the fire. The booth at the Nevis Cultural Complex was considerably damaged by fire, smoke and water. No one was injured during the incident.
The fire at the Nevis Cultural Complex is a cautionary tale, as Martin reminded the public that in instances where a fire could break out, a fire extinguisher should be on hand in case of emergencies, especially in a public space. He also provided other tips.
“Typically, [people] who occupy booths around these times, they do a number of things in their booths. Some [people] actually do cooking; they have deep fryers, etc., to ensure that people are properly fed… That is a time when everybody goes out, and they want to enjoy the different meals that [people] provide… extinguishers [are] one aspect we want to focus as well on cleaning. It is important for individuals to clean. [People] who fry stuff regularly, they have deep fryers, you know, oil is something that splatters about from time to time. Even the grease that emits from the cooking; it gets onto walls, your stove, nearby appliances, etc., and these can build up over time, so [people] need to do regular cleaning.”
As the Fire Sub Station Officer said, the cause of the fire is suspected to be electrical and offered some advice on electrical maintenance.
“Wires get frailed over time, so if you have wires in for a very long time, it would be important for you to recheck them and ensure that you reinstall new wiring ever so often. In addition to that, whenever you have increased appliances, the wires you have may not be able to take the load that you currently have because you [applied] more appliances over time. Some may just start out with a microwave, and next thing, they have blenders, toasters, etc., adding more strain on the electrical system that you have present. The transformers you might have to update to a bugger transformer if need be; make sure that your breakers can withstand whatever appliances that you have attached to them and not [create] any kind of fire-related hazards.”
In terms of repairs to electrical appliances or wiring, the Fire Sub Station Officer advised against shortcuts and to seek the assistance of a certified electrician to make sure the repairs are up to safe standards.