2 perish, millions lost as fire razed buildings at Vreed-en-Hoop
The charred remains of two Chinese nationals was on Sunday morning removed by undertakers following a massive fire which broke out in the wee hours of Sunday at the main commercial area at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara (WCD).
The fire, which reportedly started at about 01:50h, also flatted at least five other businesses in the area, resulting in millions of dollars in loses.
The blaze reportedly started in a Chinese supermarket following a fluctuation of electricity supply in the area. Among the businesses destroyed are the Chow Singh Chinese Restaurant, Wishful Supermarket, a multipurpose complex which housed Nauth’s Fashion, Robin’s Bookstore and a mobile store along with Mobile Guru.
Based on information received, at the time of the fire, the two now dead men were asleep aback the supermarket which was heavily secured by an electric door.
Guyana Timeswas informed that the men might have been unable to exit the building since there was no electricity in the area at the time to open the door.
However, the fire, according to an eyewitness, broke out at the supermarket and quickly spread to the other building.
“Dem building deh here years, many many years, I know the man that used to own it before so by the time the fire start, the place burnt quickly” the man told Guyana Times.
As the fire was spotted, the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) was summoned but according to residents, its efforts to save the buildings were fruitless due to the lack of sufficient water. After some time, the firefighters started to pump water from a canal to put out the blaze.
In addition to the GFS, Pooran Brothers also rendered assistance in putting out the blaze. After hours of battling with the heat and fire, the firemen eventually put out the blaze. When Guyana Times arrived at the scene at about 11:00h on Sunday, small pockets of fire were still being put out by firefighters.
As the fire came under control, the charred remains of the Chinese nationals, which were huddled together, were removed as family members who had gathered, looked on.
Speaking to this publication, owner of Nauth’s Fashion store expressed disappointment with the work of the fire service.
According to the woman, she would have lost millions of dollars since nothing was saved from her business place.
Another section of her business was, however, saved as firefighters worked quickly to soak the building with water to prevent the flames from spreading across. The owner expressed great joy that her life was saved.
Owner of Mobile Guru, Rajaran Suknanan told this newspaper that he would have lost about $30 million due to the fire.
According to one of his employees, he was called to the scene but by the time he arrived, the buildings were already engulfed in flames.
“When I came, everything was already on fire, nobody couldn’t have saved anything, everything was already gone” the teen lamented.
When Guyana Times arrived at the scene, curious onlookers had gathered.
Workers from Guyana Power and Light (GPL) along with the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) were assessing the damage and more so, replacing those facilities that were destroyed by the fire.
An investigation is presently ongoing. (Kizzy Coleman)