Fire Chief Marlon Gentle today told News Source that the Guyana Fire Service is currently probing four recent vehicle fires, including one that took place this morning in the City.
Mr. Gentle said there is nothing to be alarmed about or panic over, pointing out that fires involving vehicles are not new. He said the four recent cases appear to all have differing reasons and the Guyana Fire Service is probing all of them.
He explained that in the first case on the West Demerara, the vehicle was involved in an accident before it burst into flames, in the second case, which involved a GPL contracted bus, there was some attempt at fixing some mechanical issue before that fire took place.
The Fire Chief said the third fire which occurred outside the Magistrates’ Court is still being probed and an investigation has started into this morning’s fire that involved a moving motor car in the city.
Mr. Gentle said last year, the Guyana Fire Service responded to 45 fires involving vehicles and in 2017, there were 66 fires involving vehicles.
He said in those cases, the causes were different and involved mechanical and electrical issues, poor maintenance, fuel leaks, batteries not being properly fitted and even cases of sabotage and attempts at insurance fraud.
In recent weeks, some motorists have been complaining about the odor of the fuel being sold by some service stations across the country, raising questions about quality.
The state-owned Guyana Oil Company has said that its fuel underwent all the necessary tests and specifications before making it to the fuel pumps.
Questioned about whether the recent fires could be related to the fuel being used in the vehicles, the Fire Chief said while there might be need for more investigation by agencies other than the Fire Service, the velocity of the fire in the cases, do not appear to support fuel being a cause.
“If this was the gas, the fires would have been spreading much faster and people might not have had time to escape from a vehicle in motion. And people who operate brush cutters and other engines and generators and power washers, that all might be using the same gas, would have had the problem”, he said.
The Fire Chief said the Fire Service has been probing various cases of vehicular fires and will continue to do so, but he also warned that drivers should take better care of their vehicles and be aware of all the work that is being done by mechanics to their vehicles.