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A fire near Pier 1, but questions linger about bar safety

On Saturday night there was a fire in BTL Park at a palapa directly in front of the Pier 1 Bar. It is not affiliated with the bar, but it is the only establishment that serves alcohol and the police say men who were drinking and smoking may have caused the fire accident. Pier 1 is known to have gang elements that frequent that establishment and both Assistant Superintendent of Police, Alejandro Cowo and Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, Commander of Operations addressed the issues at the park.

ASP Alejandro Cowo: “Police were called to BTL Park on Newtown Barracks where upon arrival they observed one of the palapas engulfed in a fire and as a result the fire personnel arrived and they extinguished the palapa. Only the thatch roof was destroyed and what the Police has gathered is that just minutes earlier there was a group of male persons that were seen under the palapa drinking and it is suspected that probably one of them might have left a cigarette butt under the palapa which ignited the palapa. There is no sign of accelerant that was used.”

DCP Chester Williams: “Pier One is a business establishment where people go for entertainment. I can’t tell you how it looks because I have never been there but one of the things that we need to review is the deployment of officers to Pier One. I think that we need to discuss with the proprietors or Pier One the need to enhance the security at Pier One. I think that having two or three officers working there is inadequate and so if we can enhance the security then the officers will be in a better position to be able to defuse tensions between rival groups that go there. The next thing that we might need to look at is to see if there is in anyway that they can prevent persons who are known to be gang affiliated from going there especially when you know that the other rivaling group is there because when the two or three different rivaling groups are gathered there tensions increase and it becomes a recipe for disaster. It puts the lives of the patrons as well as the officers who work there at risk and so I will surely be discussing this with Mr. Moody the need for them to have a dialogue with the proprietor of Pier One that if they are going to continue carrying on business that the level of security needs to be enhanced, it is a must.”