First Federation is a derelict fire hazard- Fire Chief

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 21:00 by GxMedia

In what appears to be the latest step to evict remaining tenants from the First Federation Building on Croal Street, the Guyana Fire Service on Tuesday recommended that the building be rehabilitated or dismantled because it is a fire hazard.

“The inspection revealed the…hazardous conditions on the premises that are an eminent threat to Life and Fire Safety and even to the neighbouring properties,” stated Fire Chief Marlon Gentle.

He said the building was inspected on September 27 following a letter from the Government Electrical Inspector on July 8 highlighting the many fires and life threatening conditions.

The Fire Service wants all persons to cease occupying the premises immediately. After that, the Fire Service wants the building renovated or reconstructed to meet the minimum building construction standards and safety requirements or it must be dismantled immediately and its materials be disposed of in a safe manner.
Leading the Fire Service to declare First Federation a “derelict building” and make those recommendations are a number of findings during the inspection of the building. They include the building being utilized for offices for the purposes of plying their respective trades and professions in a haphazard and unsafe manner.
The GFS said the concrete and timber structure is in a state of disrepair and deteriorated to such a state that the timber materials have rotted and the concrete materials have lost their construction integrity and can no longer carry out their engineering and fire resisting purposes.
According to the Fire Chief, the electrical wiring throughout the building was found loose and hanging, along with electrical points and outlets that were not properly insulated.

Inspectors also observed that numerous illegal and temporary electrical wiring with unsafe connections used to provide electricity from a Portable Generator positioned near the main entrance. Further, there is no legal connection by the Service Provider (GPL).
A large quantity of garbage, unwanted and unserviceable materials were found throughout the building on the various floors, corridors, within the ceiling and the vacant offices/rooms, said the Fire Chief.
Guyana Power and Light (GPL) has already disconnected electricity supply to the building. Occupants have been given notice to remove by the Ministry of Legal Affairs which said it is responsible for the building after the insurance company folded several decades ago.

While most occupants have vacated the premises, several still remain there.