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Minnis: Berry Islanders left to battle bush fire on their own

FNM leader Hubert Minnis

FNM leader Hubert Minnis

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

OPPOSITION Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday the government left the people of the Berry Islands to battle a massive bush fire alone for three days, before they “even noticed or sent help”.

In fact, Dr Minnis, who visited the island on Friday, said it was not until the

government learned that he was on the island, that their PLP Member of Parliament, Dr Perry Gomez, even “bothered” to visit.

“The fire was raging near people’s homes and the government never even uttered a statement or showed any concern. It was all over social media, all over Facebook and they did nothing and said nothing. I went on Friday to ensure that no lives were lost and no one injured, luckily that was not the case,” he said.

“I do not know what would have happened to those persons if they did not fight the fire themselves. For those few days, there were no PLP’s or FNM’s, there were just Bahamians working together to save lives and homes. When I arrived, they said they were not surprised that the government did not help them. Shortly after I got there, I got a call that Dr Gomez would be there on a 2:30pm flight. When he did arrive, after the fire was already out, he came with ZNS and a camera crew. He came to grandstand. I did not carry any press with me, I went alone because I went to help the people. The community worked for three days straight to out that fire. They are heroes.”

Dr Minnis also suggested that the island appears to have been neglected by the government as it is still in need of “a lot of work”.

“The clinic needs serious work, which is weird because the Minster of Health is their Member of Parliament,” he said. “The morgue is also totally non-functioning. I did a tour of the island and itemized some things. I will make a statement and address it real soon.”

The raging bush fire tore through nearly 200 acres of land and took residents three days to extinguish. No one was injured during the blaze.

Comments

Publius 8 years, 4 months ago

Neglect of the family islands has always been a major problem, but tell me, how was Dr. Minnis going to "ensure" no lives were lost or no injuries happened when he came after the brush fire was already out, and it's not like he was coming with equipment to put out the fire?

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birdiestrachan 8 years, 4 months ago

Grandstanding? Dr. Minnis went to the press with his story. what does he call that? Grandstanding No doubt. Every where he goes there is a photo opportunity even if it is only him and one other person in some red shirts. Perhaps there were no red shirts about and that is why there are no pictures. But never the less he did make the news.

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BMW 8 years, 4 months ago

I am very dissapointed with the articles as relates to the fire in Great Harbour Cay. I heard on the local news this morning that firemen from Nassau put the fire out. Totally incorrect! The fire was put out by the good people of GHC and with the help of an employee from Waugh Construction. I got a call from " Circle" last Wednesday morning asking if our D-6 was avalaible to help push fire breaks and clear around home that were in the path of the fire as the rubber tire loader they were using got a flat tire. I had an employee flying down that day to check out equipment and materials we have there. Floyd worked late into Wednesday nite and was back at it for another 12 hours the following day. By late Thursday the fire was contained and had burned itself out. I myself visited Friday morning to survey what the fire had damaged and to fly Floyd back to Freeport, I say this to bring the facts into the open. Facts are facts, I cannot believe what has been said and printed, some people are just out of touch with reality.

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