Photos: Massive Fire At Pembroke Dump

March 30, 2012

A huge blaze broke out last night [Mar.29] at the Marsh Folly Composting Facility in Pembroke. Smoke billowed high in the sky, visible for miles around.

Dozens of personnel from the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service responded, with firefighters called in from all over the island, as well as off duty staff receiving calls to respond to the emergency. They worked for hours to battle the blaze, with private water truckers assisting the efforts by transporting water to the scene.

Chief Fire Officer Vincent Hollinsid said they had 17 fire vehicles, and 60-70 personnel on scene. He said there were two areas of horticultural waste on fire – one measuring 50ft x 60ft, the other measuring approximately 60ft x 200ft.

Dozens of onlookers watched, many taking photos with their phones, one motorcycle rider even arrived up wearing a full faced gas mask. Some area residents reported a hard time leaving their homes, as spectators parked randomly blocking entrances, with many also saying the smoke had made its way into their homes.

The Bermuda Police Service maintained watch, while the Bermuda Regiment provided manpower to help clean up. We unofficially understand one firefighter was transported to KEMH for treatment to unknown injuries.

Public Works Minister Michael Weeks said: “We are taking this situation very seriously and our top priority is to ensure the safety of area residents. Cedarbridge Academy has been made available should any residents affected by smoke need to evacuate to a safe place. We will update the public as this situation develops, but I urge people to stay clear of the area and allow the emergency services to carry out their work.”

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  1. Minister Weeks: Post Pembroke Fire Updates | | April 17, 2012
  1. yellowmellowcustard says:

    I caught the last smoldering, smoky fire a few years back, it was awesome. Reminded me of Close Encounters of the Third kind. Good luck Bermuda!

    Anyone accountable for this reoccurrence?

  2. jusayin says:

    well done all for your valiant efforts. i was at victor scott when it started up. it was pretty wild and extremely difficult to see once you hit the roundabout by fat man’s cafe. but keep fighting (we’re proud and grateful for you).

  3. King Fish says:

    I saw guys down der dis mornin makin smores and slow rostin dem dea marhsmellows

  4. Come correct says:

    Anyone else notice the person in the coat that looks like they killed 6 different endangered species to make it, wearing a motorcycle helmet, resperator and on the phone…now is an appropriate time for an “only in Bermy” LOL

    • Come correct says:

      Oh yea, and well done to everyone involved! Now I’m off to go buy some fabreeze before they’re all sold out.

      • jusayin says:

        make sure u buy at least 2 of the car febreeze if you parked anywhere near, palmetto rd, friswalls hill, and marsh folly. ya gonna need it! trust!

    • Tommy Chong says:

      LOL! Maybe they were texting the girls down princess street telling them about potential costumers they see. Hopefully they’ve got respirators for the girls also cause one may be unionized & claim workers comp for respiratory damages on the job.

  5. King Fish says:


  6. Nikita says:

    Well Done Bermuda Fire Service!! And Everyone else that helped out last night.

  7. Plain thought says:

    with all the fires over the years, one would think government would put in a fire system around the dump, as it is required for any area of combustible fuel.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Why would they do that? It would decrease the potential risk of accidental destruction of low income housing. Thats some good warehouse real estate back there if only no one was living on it.

  8. Triangle Drifter says:

    Hmmmm, so this morning we are left with a smoldering wet stinky mess. It would now appear that the fires, 2 piles, were deliberately set. Obviously setting them on a windy night was a very dangerous thing to do. However the results of trying to put the fires out, they are not, may not be as good as if they had been allowed to burn, but under control.

    Admittedly I have never dealt with a fire as big as these, nor have I lit a waste fire, but I have dealt with many horticulural waste fires much larger than your average backyard burn armed only with a garden hose & a no wind day.

    The trick is to have dry material, tightly packed so that it burns hot & fast. Fast being the aim so creating the least smoke for the least amount of time. Packed & hot so that all burns away & also cuts down on smoke. Only use the water to prevent spreading reduce flying embers. A 15′ diameter pile over 8′ high gets reduced to a couple wheelbarrow loads worth of ashes, good for the garden, in no time.

    Today in Pembroke dump we have a stinking pile of stuff that still has to be dealt with.

  9. Moonbeam says:

    Huge thanks to the members of the Fire Dept, Police and all other Agencies and individuals who helped ‘save our Island’.
    Hopefully a full report from the Fire Commissioner will be published and resolute actions taken to prevent any further such incidents.