Two mobile homes that police said had been abandoned for at least two years burned in a fire in North Side district late last week.
At press time Tuesday, police and fire service officers were at a loss to explain how the homes – which generally are not allowed to be built in the Cayman Islands – came to be there.
“It appeared no one was living there for years,” Royal Cayman Islands Police Chief Inspector Harlan Powery said over the weekend.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Randy Rankin said it appeared the two mobile homes were “stored” on the property at Rossini Street where they caught fire. No one was injured.
Mobile homes are typically not allowed for habitation in the Cayman Islands. In 2012, the Central Planning Authority turned down a request from the nonprofit Bridge Foundation to set up trailer homes in West Bay as a halfway house for drug addicts and recovering criminal offenders. The government’s building control unit said at the time that the trailers did “not meet the basic code requirements” for occupation.
The trailers referenced in that case had been shipped in from the U.S. nearly a decade earlier.
In January 2005, more than 80 trailer homes were brought in from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with temporary housing in the wake of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
By early 2007, most of those trailers were not in use, although some had been shifted over to the Immigration Detention Centre in Fairbanks to house Cuban migrants who land illegally in Cayman from time to time.
Some of those trailers are still being used at that site.
Other FEMA trailers were shipped to Cuba in 2008 to assist during its recovery from hurricanes Ike and Gustav that year.
Police and fire officials were unable to say whether the mobile homes that burned last Friday were the same FEMA trailers brought in from early 2005.