The burnt Gazebo at the Botanical Garden in Scarborough, Tobago which was destroyed on Wednesday.

Tobago suffered over $1 million worth in damage as fire razed three separate buildings on Wednesday night.

Each of the fires occurred within minutes of the other, while two were mere metres apart.

Fire officials said investigations were ongoing and that preliminary findings indicated a possible link between two of the incidents.

The first fire occurred shortly after 6 pm at Courland Bush Trace at Black Rock where a single-story dwelling house owned by Terry and Curtis George caught afire.

An estimate of the damage to the house was said to be around $500,000. Divisional Fire Officer for Tobago, David Thomas said the fire originated in one of the bedrooms of the house. He said officers were barely able to wrap up the first scene before being called upon to put out two other fires.

“At about 8 pm while they were closing down operations at the Black Rock fire, we got the call alerting us to the Botanic Gardens fire and while on route to the Botanic Fire we got the Sangster’s Hill fire,” he said.

In the second incident, a wooden structure at the centre of the Botanical Garden known as the “Gazebo” which was previously used to host functions including weddings and Christmas parties was totally engulfed. According to Thomas, the value of the building was estimated to be in the vicinity of $300,000.

The third blaze occurred only metres away, at another Tobago House of Assembly (THA) building used for storage at Sangster’s Hill which was also completely destroyed.

When asked if he found the occurrence unusual, Thomas said preliminary reports indicated that there may be some link to the fire at the Botanical Garden and the fire at Sangster’s Hill.

“I am thinking that both fires in Scarborough might have been closely associated and that is against the background that we have previously responded to fires on other occasions at both locations so it might have been as a result of somebody intruding illegally in the premises or it might have been somebody who has ulterior motives.”

He said officers were at all three locations today carrying out investigations and once complete the findings will be presented.

Just a few weeks ago in April, Thomas had remarked on the “significant increase in vehicular and structural fires on the island since November last year.”

The Divisional Fire Officer called on residents to “do better” as a number of fires were caused by faulty equipment, carelessness or may have been set by intruders. At that time officials recorded more than twelve fires on the island for the period.