Sol Petroleum has made a proposal for an early warning siren system to better alert its neighbors in emergency scenarios after complaints about the handling of a mass evacuation following a fire at the South Church Street fuel depot last year.

Fuel inspectorate OfReg has completed its investigation into the fire and is finalizing its report.

In the interim, Sol says it has made some upgrades to its own processes and submitted a proposal for an emergency siren system.

All homes within a mile radius of the facility were evacuated after fire broke out in a diesel tank in July last year.

At a public meeting with fire officials, regulators and area MLAs in the aftermath of the fire, residents vented their frustration about the level of communication on the night – both the speed of informing residents of the fire and the lack of updates through the night.

Multiple residents suggested a siren system that would alert them immediately to any emergency at the fuel terminal.

In a statement to the Cayman Compass last week, Sol said it was awaiting the findings of the OfReg investigation.

It said some changes had already been made, in response to the fire, including a recommendation for emergency sirens.

“Because of the public’s feedback, we made a proposal for the government agencies’ consideration to install a pair of sirens at the terminal, which could be used as a public warning system in the event of an emergency at the terminal,” according to the statement.

The company said it had also made upgrades to the terminal’s fixed firefighting foam injection system.

The tank, which caught fire, is still out of service and is being prepared for an internal cleaning process in early January, according to Sol.

The company has also hired independent engineers to carry out a structural inspection of the tank.

The cause of the fire has not been officially explained. At the public meeting in August, residents claimed they had seen workmen welding on the tank on the day of the fire.

A representative from OfReg told residents at that meeting that the cause would need to be thoroughly investigated. He said the findings would be made known to the public when the investigation was complete.

Duke Munroe, director and chief inspector of OfReg’s Fuels Market division, has provided progress updates during the course of the investigation.

He was not available for comment Tuesday, but told the Compass last month that its preliminary report on the fire was expected to be complete by January.

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  1. So they should leave it where it is. Obviously, all they need is a siren to alert elderly people and younger people who are in their homes reading books and playing dominoes. Great idea, next fire just turn on the siren everyone should hear it. No problem man. Thank God I moved

  2. It is known that in 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami some local governments had chosen not to activate emergency warning sirens.
    Cayman is past due on implementing emergency notification system that would reach every mobile phone.