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Fire destroys former headquarters of Scouts

Saturday, August 18, 2018
Construction workers erect a fence near the building which formerly housed the T&T Scout Association. The building was destroyed by fire along Lady Chancellor Hill, Port-of-Spain yesterday. Photo by:Abraham Diaz

Police are investigating whether arson was the cause of a fire which destroyed the former headquarters of the Port-of-Spain Scouts, yesterday.

According to reports, officials learned of the suspected attack when they met the wooden and concrete building at Lady Chancellor Road on fire during a visit yesterday.

By the time fire officers arrived on the scene, the entire building was engulfed in flames. While they were unable to save the building, the officers managed to stop the fire from spreading to the Horticultural Society’s headquarters, which is located next door.

Contacted yesterday, executive commissioner of the Scouts Association of T&T Courtney Bruce said his organisation was convinced that the attack was arson as Molotov cocktails had been thrown into the premises in March.

“We suspect that it is arson. There are some persons who are interested in the property as far as I understand,” Bruce said. He did not reveal the names of the suspected arsonists or people interested in the property.

Bruce said the association was using the property for camping and outdoor activities because of the dilapidated state of the building.

“We are a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and we are finding it difficult to maintain the property because of funds,” Bruce said.

He said it could not afford 24-hour security and traditional security measures did not stop the arsonists in the past.

“We have put locks and chains on the gates and they would forever cut them and use the place for parking,” he said.

Despite the lack of resources, Bruce said the association would continue with its work and would attempt to rebuild.

He described the attack as disturbing.

Bruce said: “People are complaining about the youths these days and here we are trying to fill a void by developing character and so on in the young people.”

Members of the public who may wish to make donations to the association can contact the Association at 624-7271.

Investigations are continuing.


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