DETERMINING the cause of the fire that destroyed the Folk Research Centre (FRC) late in March is currently not possible. So say investigators attached to the Fire Department, as investigations have been hindered by the unstable nature of the burned structure.
Investigations may continue, they say, if the structure is secured by experts, but that, they say, is currently beyond the skills-set of the Fire Department.
In an exclusive interview with The VOICE, a spokesman attached to the Fire Department explained that while investigations are still ongoing, they are unable to provide a timeline for its conclusion, given the unsafe nature of the burnt structure.
“The investigation is still ongoing and based on what we have seen with the preliminaries, the integrity of the structure is compromised. As a result, it poses a threat to the safety of the investigators.”
The spokesman went on to say that at this stage, the department cannot tell how long it’s going to take to complete their investigation, saying: “We’re not too sure how long that is going to take, as, paramount for us is the integrity of the structure.”
The spokesman also said the department’s number-one priority is safety and with the current condition of the burned structure, that safety has been “compromised.”
According to the officer, “We don’t want to do any guessing, as that’s not part of an investigation.”
“Investigations are solely about evidence collected and critical components, because you need to support your hypothesis with facts…”
Such evidence “would help to establish if the cause of the fire was incendiary in nature; from natural causes, or if it was accidental.”
However, such evidence-gathering is proving to be a difficult task for the Fire Department.
Asked whether the building will be demolished, the spokesperson said any decision in that regard would be based on consultation between the Fire Chief and the tenants.