Fire destroys Chinese supermarket at Golden Grove

The Chinese supermarket being destroyed by the fire

An early-morning fire on Tuesday of unknown origin wreaked havoc at Golden Grove Public Road on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), destroying the WuHu one-stop Chinese supermarket.
When Guyana Times arrived on the scene, several Chinese nationals who occupied a section of the building were seen running to safety.
The security officer who was seconded to the business premises related that the fire stated that at about 3:40h while making checks in front of the building, he heard unusual sounds as if someone was cooking.
Finding it unusual for cooking activity at that hour, he said he attempted to contact the owners via WhatsApp to ensure everything was okay. The man claimed that his suspicions were aroused when the message failed to deliver, despite being connected to the supermarket’s Wi-Fi, which is located in the kitchen area of the owner’s living quarters.
The security officer further related that he went to the side of the building, where he observed smoke emanating from the upper flat. He shouted for the Chinese nationals but there was no response.
Consequently, he resorted to banging on the steel doors with a large object to alert them.
“I was hitting for some time, and that’s when they got up and ran out of the building. Within two minutes, the whole building was on fire. Just two minutes more, and they might have been trapped inside,” the security officer recounted.
Meanwhile, this publication understands that the supermarket had only been operational for about two months, and four Chinese nationals are now displaced and millions of dollars in stocks were destroyed.
An investigation has been launched.
This is the 12th reported case of fire that occurred in April. The most recent case occurred on April 26 and has left two businesses destroyed and seven persons homeless. The blaze also destroyed at least three cars belonging to one of the business persons and damaged several other vehicles at a mechanic shop.
It was reported that flames were seen at the popular Colours of India Boutique at Lot D16 Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice).
Seelochanie Latchman, the 52-year-old proprietress of the boutique, said she observed the electrical wire at the eastern side of the building sparking, and then it burst into flames, causing her and her daughter-in-law to take the children and run out of the yard.
Latchman operated the business on the premises and lived there with her husband, two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.
One of her sons operated a mechanic shop attached to the southern side of the building.
Suresh Latchman, also known as ‘Playerz’, a 52-year-old businessman, related that he had left home on the day in question to transact business in Georgetown, and his wife, children, and daughter-in-law were at home.
He said that while he was on his way home from Georgetown, he received a telephone call from a friend, informing him that his house was on fire.
He arrived shortly after the call and saw his home in flames.
The Fire Department said an officer and seven other ranks from the Onverwagt Fire Service responded with a fire tender, and upon arrival, they went into action and extinguished the fire. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.