The fire-damaged Treasury Building in Charlestown hours after an early morning fire engulfed the building on January 17, 2014
The interior of the Treasury Building, which suffered structural, water and fire damage
By Caribbean News Now contributor
CHARLESTOWN, Nevis -- An early morning fire on Friday, which gutted the building housing the Nevis Island Administration’s (NIA) Treasury, Inland Revenue and Value Added Tax departments and derailed services offered to the public, is under investigation by local police and fire services.
In the meantime, the NIA declined to speculate as to the cause of the fire.
“This is something which the police are handling and the fire services. They will do their investigation and they will then advise us as to what are their findings. Until this point, we cannot say or even speculate about what transpired here,” Premier Vance Amory said as he led his Cabinet colleagues on a tour of the gutted building.
According to NIA treasurer, Colin Dore, “We are damaged but not destroyed.”
Dore said their IT Department was going through trying to clean up and, although they have lost paper work, the back-up is there.
“We would have lost a lot of our paper documents. Everything which is on paper is basically on an electronic file. We were able to save all of our servers. We are now going through the process of clean up and getting them restarted to see what can be done in terms of retrieving the documents,” he said.
“Inland Revenue may not be too bad in terms of document loss but the other two departments [Treasury and VAT] would have suffered damage to paper documents and we are hoping that our electronic files are still good... If the electronic files are good and we find physical location in a couple of days, we could restart almost immediately in let’s say two to five days,” he added.
The fire comes on the heels of a series of blazes in St Kitts, including one that destroyed the Venezuelan embassy. That fire and another started at the OAS Building are said to be the work of arsonists.
Another fire, the third major incident in one week, destroyed a building owned by opposition politician Lindsay Grant.