Owner jumps into burning building to help control fire

June 14, 2017
Rudolph Brown/Photographer Andrew Azar (right), owner of L.P Azar wholesale on Princess Street, talks to firemen while they carry out cooling down operation in downtown Kingston yesterday morning.


Mere hours after the Kingston and St Andrew Fire Division brought a fire at a section of Redemption Arcade under control, they were summoned to put out a blaze in a warehouse on Princess Street in downtown Kingston yesterday morning.

Deputy Superintendent of the York Park Fire Station, Valerie Dixon, said that she received a call minutes after 7 that the L.P. Azar warehouse was on fire.

"A unit that was previous at a fire at Redemption Market responded to the call, and an additional unit was sent from the York Park Fire Station. On arrival, the firefighters had difficulty in terms of ascertaining the seat of the fire and gaining access. However, after a short period of time, they were able to gain access to the building," Dixon said.

"Three jets were used and an additional water tank was sent from Spanish Town to aid in extinguishing the fire. The fire came under control about two hours after, and is now fully extinguished."

Director of L.P. Azar, Andrew Azar, who knows the crevices and corners of the building, jumped into the blaze to assist the firefighters.

"The reason I jumped in is because they couldn't see, and I know the logistics of the building," Azar told THE STAR.




Azar, who wasn't wearing any productive gear, said he never thought about the danger he was exposed to when he jumped into the burning building.

"I am scared now, thinking back," Azar said.

He was accompanied by a resident whom he said he is extremely grateful to.

"A lot of people look at these downtown communities and they think it is just bad people who live here.

Without any breathing apparatus, they went into the building with us," he said. "They went into the building with us and put a ring around the building, and I want to thank them." Dixon said the cause of the fire has not yet been ascertained, and fire investigators were called in to look into the matter.

While not being able to confirm the damage that was done to the building which housed clothing materials, Dixon said that its layout helped to prevent the fire from spreading.

"The warehouse was not completely damaged because it was compartmentalised," Dixon explained. "We were able to contain the fire without it spreading to other sections. So what we believe in terms of commercial buildings is that they need to work with our fire departments to ensure that their buildings, especially for a warehouse that has this wide open space, are compartmentalised so that it reduces their loss."

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