Fire Service asks public not to tackle big fires

In this screengrab from video, a man is seen carrying a container of water which he proceeded to throw on the tree fire on Tuesday afternoon.

The Cayman Islands Fire Service is urging members of the public to leave the task of putting out fires to the professionals.

The call comes after video footage on social media showed people trying to extinguish a blazing tree and hedge fire on Tuesday afternoon near the old Hyatt building on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.

Firemen was called to deal with the “well-developed” fire at 4:27pm Tuesday, according to a statement from the Fire Service.

“Emerging video footage of the fire prior to the arrival of CIFS shows members of the public attempting to put the fire out with buckets of water and vehicles passing dangerously close,” the statement said.

“CIFS would like to remind residents, businesses and visitors to the Cayman Islands that they should Get Out, Stay Out and dial 911 requesting fire and rescue. This includes outside wildfires where you should move to a safe distance, stay away and dial 911,” the Fire Service added.

Fire Service officials said they would only recommend that people tackle small undeveloped fires where it is safe to do so with an appropriate fire extinguisher to prevent further escalation and calling 911 to report the fire as a matter of urgency.

“Tackling larger fires, with no training, the wrong equipment or wrong extinguishing agent can lead to serious injuries or a fire-related fatality, and should be avoided in the interest of public safety,” the Fire Service stated.

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