“Unfortunately, no person within the fire department has called me to ask me any question; which I find most amazing, stated Mr. Grant,” in an exclusive interview with MiyVue.com.
However, when MiyVue.com interviewed Fire Chief Everette O’Garro last Friday morning, he did admit that he was not aware of the ownership of the property; but since those comments most news organizations covering the fire on the same day pointed ownership to the Grant family. In addition, O’Garro had indicated that though he knew not the owners, he was of the belief that the upstairs of the building was being used by the People’s Action Movement, as party offices.
The fire, which occurred in the early hours of Friday morning, 10th January, 2014, completely destroyed the two story wall and mostly wooden structure, is believed to have taken place around 6:00am, resulting in the loss of all the contents stored there by a company known as Food Centre, which has its main location at Buckley’s Site, about a mile away, but recently rented the downstairs premises, to house a retail outlet in the main section of the St. Kitts capital, Basseterre.
When MiyVue.com spoke with Grant on Friday evening, he said he would wait until later that same night to see if either the fire services or Criminal Investigation Department would contact him. He did also indicate that if they failed to do so, then he would most likely”…give them a call because, I think it is unfortunate that they have not even called me to find out anything.”
The politician explained that it was about 6:20am on Friday when he got a call from an individual who told him that the building on Baker’s Corner which he owns was on fire. “I left my home almost immediately and journeyed to Basseterre and when I got to Baker’s Corner, the fire truck along with the fire officers were outing the fire. I stayed there for about an hour and a half. At the time I left, an hour and a half later, they had almost extinguished the fire though bits and pieces were still blazing,” he stated.
When asked how he felt as he watched the property go up in flames, Grant said his thoughts were many, but he tried to restrain himself from drawing any specific conclusions as to the cause, but he also reflected on the recent comments of the prime minister, following the two fires, exactly a week before, that destroyed the embassy of Venezuela and torched the offices of the Secretariat of the OAS.
“Well it’s been some trying time and I felt that the prime minister has been pointing his fingers about the two fires that had gone just prior to this one and I feel that there is some element of retaliation but I don’t want to point a finger so really and truly I am waiting for the fire officers to come back with their report,” said Grant. He called on all to avoid engaging in any activity such as the recent fires, but reminded that it is too soon to suggest that his building was destroyed with malicious intent. No one benefits from such situations and the need to control our actions is important, he added.
“I made a statement on Observer radio (Antigua) this morning (Friday), basically appealing to all because where it starts it does not usually end. And I am just asking the general public to restrain themselves because fire in such a small community like in Basseterre with the density of it, doesn’t make sense. We can have our difference but I don’t think it needs to come to this.”
Grant said the property has been in his family for about 70 years, dating back to his grandfather, James Richards, (father of his mom).