One dead from Fesco fire; investigation continues

One dead from Fesco fire; investigation continues

Sunday, February 23, 2020

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — One man has died as a result of the fire which damaged Heaven's Fesco service station here on Friday, his relatives have said.

The man was identified by relatives yesterday as Daniel Farquharson, a businessman of this south-central Jamaica town.

Today would have been his 60th birthday, his son Tyrone told the Jamaica Observer from his base in New York, United States.

“Daddy is someone who doesn't celebrate but he would recognise his birthday. He was a laid-back, cheerful person who worked hard. He operated Danny's Garage; he is also a pig farmer.

“We are distraught. I am in New York, my other siblings who are in Jamaica and Japan are also distraught because we are a close-knit family. I was told he suffered burns to 80-90 per cent of the body.

“When he was taken to hospital last night [Friday], I spoke to him and reminded him how much I love him, and he said 'me love you too',” Tyrone said, holding back tears. “Daddy was everything. What a tragedy, my God.”

Daniel Farquharson was due to visit his son in New York in May.

“I was so excited to know that he was coming up, because I hadn't seen him since 2014,” Tyrone said.

Four other persons remain in hospital, as the Jamaica Fire Brigade intensifies its investigation into the blaze which occurred at the intersection of Perth, Manchester and Caledonia roads, which also resulted in extensive damage to a section of the service station and 12 vehicles which were parked on the property.

Deputy superintendent at the Jamaica Fire Brigade Rohan Powell told the Jamaica Observer that an investigative team was to examine the scene yesterday afternoon.

“The remainder of the investigative team from Kingston which are on their way to finalise the investigative process, after...a preliminary report will be done to make the findings known and then we will follow up with a final report on the incident,” he disclosed.

“Twelve motor vehicles were damaged [and] five civilians injured; two persons received critical burns up to second-degree level and three individuals received minor burns. A 17-year-old child involved in the situation received minor burns to her face,” he went on.

Up to mid-afternoon yesterday a section of the roadway near the service station remained cordoned off by the police as they diverted traffic away from the scene.

A relative ⁠of a 62-year-old man who is one of the injured individuals, told the Sunday Observer on Saturday, “His two hands were severely burnt, and his face. Him just buy gas, drove off the pump, and came out the car to do something when the fire started. The doctors say he received thirty-five percent burns. We are hoping for the best and are thankful that he is still alive.”

An eyewitness who captured when the fire started on video said gas was pouring from one of the pumps at the petrol station before the blaze started.

The fire which started sometime after 5:00 pm had sent persons in the busy town panicking. Several vehicles were also damaged as a result of motorists rushing away from the scene.

Three fire units put out the blaze.

Mayor of Mandeville and chairman of the Manchester Municipal Corporation Donovan Mitchell has reiterated his concern about the location of the town's fire station.

“Where the fire station is situated is right in the town centre itself, so it would have posed problems for them [firefighters] to get out of the space where the station is, but I know that there are some plans in the further development of Mandeville. We are hoping to see how best we can, through the Ministry of Local Government,...have another fire station or put the fire station at a better location. I think we still need more manpower and units for this town,” said Mitchell.

Kasey Williams contributed to this story


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