The Crime Scene Unit of the Dominica Police Force and the Fire Department are presently investigating the cause of a massive fire which swept through a section of Silver Lake on Monday night, leaving 20 families homeless.
Police PRO, Pellam Jno Baptiste said about 9:50 pm on Monday, December 26, the Fire and Ambulance Services and the police responded to a house fire in the community.
“Two eight-room apartment buildings, which were occupied by 16 families were completely destroyed,” he said, adding there were no injuries in the blaze.
The said the scene was processed by personnel of the Fire and Ambulance Services and the Crime Scene Unit.
“Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing,” he said.
However, some concerns have been raised that heavy machinery was already clearing the site of the fire which could hinder the investigations.
The matter was addressed by MP for the area, Joshua Francis on Q95 on Wednesday morning.
“Investigation is within the purview of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force,” he said. “As an attorney at law, I know there are certain basic things which an investigator will consider in such a situation. One of which is an examination of the fire scene. I would have expected the police officers to gather forensic evidence in determination of whether in fact, the fire resulted as a result of a criminal act but I cannot speak on the behalf of the police officers, I am not too sure whether they would have gathered such information, I am not too sure whether the Fire Services Department would have conducted the necessary investigation as far as the site in concerned.”
He stated that in the event such investigations were not conducted satisfactorily, “the opportunity would have been lost as far as collection of forensic evidence on the actual site in its original state.”
“We have had a back hoe cleaning up the area and that would have tampered or that would have contaminated the site as far as investigation is concerned,” Francis said.