‘All clear’ after fuel terminal fire

| 24/07/2017 | 26 Comments
Cayman News Service

Fire at Sol fuel depot, 23 July 2017

(CNS): Fire crews worked for more than eight hours through Sunday night to douse a blaze at the Jackson Point Fuel terminal which saw residents in South Sound evacuated until the early hours of Monday. The Cayman Islands Fire Service gave the all clear for residents to return home shortly before 3:00am after what the potentially dangerous fire was safely extinguished, officials from Hazard Management Cayman Islands said. The cause of the blaze is now under investigation.

The fire at the Sol fuel distribution centre on South Church Street was reported to the emergency services before 5:00 Sunday evening. The fire service was dispatched to the scene, where a 1,000-foot exclusion zone was established, and residents were evacuated to the Red Cross Shelter in George Town.

The fire was blazing inside a tank containing 15 thousand barrels of fuel. The response was coordinated from a command post that was established at Sunset House and included HMCI staff, fire officers, EMS, police, Sol and the Chief Petroleum Inspector Duke Munroe. 

Chief Fire Officer David Hails said there were no injuries.

“We should all be proud of the response from our firefighters and other first responders today. They did a great job and all worked together under challenging circumstances. I am also pleased to report there were no injuries. This was a potentially dangerous fire involving a large quantity of fuel, and our first responders did what needed to be done to keep the public safe,” he stated.

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Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Deep appreciation to all those who responded to this emergency. However, this incident highlights a serious problem with those in charge of information–from CUC, Water Authority, NRA and others who think everyone monitors their smart phones and social media 24/7 and sees such updates. This is not the case.

    The fact that the communications team relied on FaceBook and social media and neglected traditional media so provide evacuation update is ridiculous and frightening and left many area residents completely unaware of this potential disaster. In such a situation, a team should have gone door to door.

    Hey, young people: many of us do not use Facebook at all, much less monitor it all day long. It is a serious oversight to use social media and internet-reliant technology to spread critical, time sensitive information. Please learn from this and remember that radio –or human contact–is still our best friend in reaching the widest audience at once.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are lucky they shared any watered down info at all. Usually, there is no comment and no follow up either. SNAFU as usual.

  2. Vera says:

    What a catastrophe if the whole thing blew up during peak cruise ship days? That would be one heck of a liability for government and fuel companies to pay out to each and everyone’s family members plus the local persons who resides in the area. Plus I would believe properties in the vicinity should worth a whole lot less today?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Interesting…another news source has a statement from Sol published since yesterday.
    „Mr. Neesome said work had been going on at the terminal at the time the fire erupted, but he said he did not want to speculate on what had started the fire.“
    So we can put two and two together….I hope there is not just the normal Cayman „internal“ investigation. This incident is a little bit on a bigger scale. Can someone
    clarify if this mysterious pipeline excist and if it is being used?

  4. Sucka Free Cayman says:

    It is high time we deal with SOL and its management and owners for this extremely dangerous situation their clear lack of safety procedures and preventative measures almost cause a castatrophic situation on South Church street and for what we are paying in Gas prices this is totally unacceptable or shall we do the usual let mr big shot once again get a pass for endandering the lives of so many people. High praise for HM Fire service good jobs boys along with the RCIPS as for Hazard Management they obviously need to get their act together. Its time our foreign fuel inspector to got off his @$$ and do his job instead of letting his Eastern Caribbean buddies nearly blow up this place. Too many johhny come lately incharge of our safety Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds good but nothing will happen apart from a spike in fuel prices so we the customer pay for their losses.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Surprised this hasn’t happened to either fuel supplier sooner. Time for OfReg to start vetting all personnel that work at these terminals. I think they’ll find many don’t have basic safety training or hazard mitigation knowledge. To boot, all personnel involved in operations from top to bottom should be required to undergo periodic drug testing. How these companies got away with inadequate or decrepit fire suppression systems for years is mind boggling. These facilities would have been slapped with heavy fines or shut down if they were in North America. When you put all this together the former Petroleum Inspectorate was a pandering joke. Let the circus continue…

  6. Anonymous says:

    9.11. Where are they going to relocate it where there are no residences within a mile of it?
    They can’t even relocate the dump because of objections, so what are the chances of relocating a potential disaster?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to all of the dedicated civil servants and others who risked it all last night to keep the rest of us safe!!! God bless you all!

  8. Tara says:

    Please get your times right, the fire start to blaze at 2.45pm

    CNS Note: According to all official sources The fire was initially reported when a technician alerted 911 at 4.43 p.m. on Sunday that smoke was coming from a fuel tank. The CIFS was immediately dispatched to the scene and arrived in three minutes.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Considering the controversy in recent times about the oil terminal not complying with required regulatory static fire protection/sprinkler systems, this is a salutary lesson. Congratulations to the Fire Service and Hazard Management team.enti
    Between Jackson Point and the Propane gas storage on Walkers Road, and with the now vast number of residents, and schoolchildren in Term Time, the potential for a disaster is something which no doubt government has as a priority in their Risk Management programme.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Where were all of the residents from the area and Sunset House’s guests relocated to and who covered that expense? Surely Sol should be responsible for any hotel expenses for the night.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Only the brave can put their life on the line at a moments notice. Big thank you.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to all our hard working first responders!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Plans should immediately be put in place to relocate the fuel farm, and zone off the area accordingly for no residential development.

    If the not so wise one from the East wants to lay down in front of the bulldozer with his Michael Manley trick let him this time.

    • Anonymous says:

      The dump should also be relocated as it is arguably even more dangerous.

      The powers that be need to take an urgent decision on relocating these two important facilities, since they are both hazardous and the health and safety of the tax paying public is now at stake.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So what is the plan for the affected diesel? They better not try and sell it, I don’t want that crap messing up my vehicle!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Shout out to the fire fighters who risked their lives to get the fire extinguished!

  16. Anonymous says:

    On the positive side they did keep the fire from spreading but people need to ask why did it take so long to put the fire out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you ever tried to out a diesel fire? Try using a little common sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was desel which burn slow and hot. You also need to take the environment into account at the same time. Oil floats to the top so you can move it around if you go to fast and the last thing you need is it hitting the Petrol Tanks. I am pleased at how the fire service handled this…However I thought Flow and Digicel had an emergency alert system in place…guess I was wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      did ye not read the aricle?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you know that we are lucky it was put out when it was as this can burn for days. Do you also know how much fuel that was. Thankful it was not gasoline! No gratitude whatsoever – always something to complain about! Thank you to our Firemen, Medics and Police Officers who worked tirelessly to make sure everyone was safe.

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