Brac trash grinder burns

No compacting services until New Year

Cayman Islands fire officials are investigating a suspicious fire that engulfed the lone trash grinder on Cayman Brac.

The blaze was reported just after dawn Wednesday morning by Department of Environmental Health crews who were arriving for work.

No one was injured when flames broke out, but fire crews said the machine was a total loss and could not immediately be replaced. Minister of Works and Infrastructure Arden McLean said trash compacting services would not be able to resume on Cayman Brac until January at least.

‘If this was another senseless act of vandalism, it would be the second on Cayman Brac in two weeks,’ Mr. McLean told Legislative Assembly members Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday of last week, vandals broke into Cayman Brac High School and ransacked the school’s home ec room and computer lab, destroying computers, phones and other equipment. It was unknown if the two incidents were related. The school re-opened on Monday.

No arrests were immediately reported in either the school vandalism or the trash grinder fire.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Steve Webster said an arson investigator and police crime scene technicians were sent from Grand Cayman to Cayman Brac Wednesday afternoon to investigate the fire. Mr. Webster said officials had not determined what caused the blaze, but did consider it suspicious.

The Department of Environmental Health recently had a new trash grinder shipped in from the US. However, Mr. McLean told lawmakers that he would not send that new equipment to the Brac immediately for fear it would also be damaged.

The new trash grinder cost in the neighbourhood of $600,000, Mr. McLean said.

The trash compacting site was also closed Wednesday because of concerns about the safety of environmental health crews.