Long Pond distillery razed

Long Pond distillery razed

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Firefighters tried valiantly but failed to save a distillery with more than 65,000 litres of rum at Long Pond sugar factory in Trelawny yesterday.

A worker at the factory said that the fire started in a sugar cane field behind the factory, caught a pile of bagasse on the property and quickly spread to the distillery area.

Initially, Deputy Superintendent Roland Walters, divisional commander for the Trelawny Division of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, told the Jamaica Observer that the operation was successful as the firefighters were able to confine the fire to one area.

However, late yesterday evening, Walters told the Observer that the distillery was razed.

Walters said the Trelawny fire brigade was alerted to the blaze about midday and received assistance from their colleagues from St Ann and St James, as well as personnel from TankWeld Construction Limited's Rio Bueno plant in Trelawny.

“Basically, what is happening here is that the fire is confined to the main store area. One area stores alcohol and the other section stores mainly raw material to make rum,” Walters said earlier.

He said that sections of the building housing the stores collapsed after being consumed by the angry flames.

Meanwhile, Kevin Barnett, plant manager at Long Pond Distillers, was grateful that despite the loss of property, there were no reports of physical harm to any workers.

“It's a bad situation, but thankfully nobody has gotten any major injury and there is no loss of life,” Barnett stated while praising the 38 firefighters who fought the blaze.

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