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Thoroughness of fire investigation in St Kitts-Nevis questioned
Published on January 20, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

The blaze at the property in St Kitts, owned by opposition politician Lindsay Grant

By Toni Frederick

BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- Opposition politician Lindsay Grant is questioning the thoroughness of investigation into a fire that gutted a property he owns in St Kitts. He told WINN FM that he was contacted by investigators on Thursday January 16, a week after the incident.

"Police called me to explain to me that they were concluding the report that very day and that they called me concerning the ownership of the building, and that's the first time that I'd ever heard from them concerning the fire... I found that very disconcerting and alarming that almost seven days had passed and the first time that they [talked] to me was when they were concluding their report,” Grant said.

There have been conflicting reports about the fire, with the police and Fire and Rescue Services saying that their investigations indicate that the blaze was caused by a power line outside the building. But Grant and eyewitnesses that spoke to WINN FM reported that the building was on fire, and the flames leapt from the building to the pole and wires outside.

WINN FM has seen video and photographs that appear to show flames blowing from the upper floor of the two-storey building, toward the unburned pole.

The electricity company has remained silent on the issue, and has not responded to WINN FM's repeated requests for a comment as to whether it had conducted its own investigation and, if the fire was indeed caused by an electrical problem, what assurances it could give to the public that the Grant fire was an isolated incident.

"If the report conclusively says that the fire started as a result of electricity and from the pole, it therefore means that SKELEC bears some responsibility for the loss of the building, so I will be looking at that very carefully," Grant said Friday.

The former leader of the opposition People's Action Movement and a candidate for the party, dismissed reports that he had made a huge insurance claim on the building. He told WINN FM that he believed his tenant had content insurance, but the property itself was uninsured.

"They can dismiss that argument as propaganda," Grant said.

Republished with permission of West Indies News Network
Reads: 1991

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