Hydel principal relieved fire did not spread to other buildingsFriday, July 23, 2021
BY CANDICE HAUGHTON
PRINCIPAL of Hydel High School in Ferry, St Catherine Samara Salmon is breathing a sigh of relief that the fire that engulfed the administrative building early yesterday morning did not spread to other buildings.
Salmon said she was not aware of what caused the fire.
She told the Jamaica Observer that “the good thing is that it was really just kept to one specific building, so at present we are just looking about relocating, we have other areas that we can do our admin work at present so by Monday we should have business as usual.”
However, despite documents, equipment and furniture damaged beyond repair, Salmon is optimistic the school will recover.
“We started going online with our registrations and things like that, so now we just have to continue the process and engage the parents and those persons who are not yet on that online system, just work on getting that done,” she said.
With school on summer break and not many students and staff on campus when the incident occurred, she said no one was hurt, “which we really have to give God thanks for because it was really just limited to one structure one the campus”.
Superintendent for the Jamaica Fire Brigade Julian Davis-Buckle said losses were estimated at $50 million. The fire department, she said, responded to the call at 7:57 am and 39 firefighters fought the blaze.
Davis-Buckle confirmed that the fire affected only one building on the premises.
“We managed to contain the fire to where it started. We had a steady flow of water and that helped us in ensuring that this fire did not spread. It is still early days [and] we are doing our investigations now, but we have not come up with a cause at this time,” the superintendent told the Observer.
“You would look at it to say it's just one building of the entire compound but the nature and purpose of this building will tell you that it is bad, because our preliminary estimation is that they have lost $50 million in damage and we would have $150 million at risk when you look at the structures around and exposure to this fire,” said Davis-Buckle.
Davis-Buckle added, “It's a school; when we have fires to schools [and] hospitals we never respond with one unit, so we were on point with our response, and hence we contained the fire effectively.”
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