Fire crews battle bush blaze again and again

For more than a week, the Cayman Islands Fire Service has been battling a pesky brush fire located behind the now-vacant building that once housed the Courtyard Marriott hotel on West Bay Road. 

Flames started up again on Tuesday afternoon, more than a week after the first fire erupted in the heavily-wooded area the evening of 25 April, sending clouds of smoke for miles around in various directions. 

The fire came in fits and starts for most of the week at the location as crews battled to keep it under control. 

Deputy Fire Chief Steve Webster said the fire service was on scene at the location all day Saturday to ensure every last hot spot had been doused. 

However, at around midnight that same night flames started up again. 

Mr. Webster said he personally walked the entire area of the blaze Sunday along with other firefighters after the late-night fire was doused.

“We found nothing,” he said. “We had three trucks here on Saturday from 8.30am to 4pm. It was completely out.” 

But flames sprang up again on Tuesday afternoon, this time in an entirely different location from Saturday’s blaze. 

During rush hour Tuesday afternoon, firefighters had to block off a section of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway behind the old hotel so they could ferry water from an inlet across the street to the fire. 

Acting Fire Chief Rosworth McLaughlin said he hoped to have the area doused and the fire totally out by midnight. 

Neither Mr. Webster nor Mr. McLaughlin could determine what was causing these fires, but both admitted that having flames break out in two different locations within a few days time was suspicious. 

“I can’t say that there is somebody doing it, but it’s strange to see it happening like that,” Mr. Webster said. 

No one has been hurt in any of the fires thus far. 

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now