Millions of dollars worth of items went up in flames after a fire of unknown origin destroyed the Sachi Store on Regent Street, Georgetown, in the wee hours of Monday morning.
Based on information received, the fire started at about 02:00h and no one was present in the building at that time.
The fire is suspected to have started inside the store. It spread quickly to the other two stories and engulfed the entire structure. During that time, persons within the vicinity reportedly heard a loud explosion which triggered a response.
The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) was immediately called to the scene and tackled the blaze. While adjacent buildings in close proximity were spared, they suffered significant water damages, as well as those from the heat and smoke.
At 10:00h on Monday morning, firefighters were still at the scene evaluating and dousing small patches of flames.
The section of Regent Street, between Wellington and Camp Streets, was cordoned off to vehicular traffic as employees and passersby stood in disbelief.
The operators of the buildings were still trying to peg their losses, estimated in the millions. When asked if there were any electrical issues in the building, the response was in the negative.
One employee, Teasha Johnson told Guyana Times that 16 persons were employed at the store. It had been just under one year since the operators would have shifted to this store from a location just next door on Regent Street.
Sachi General Store primarily operated from the ground floor while the two other flats were used for storage. After rummaging through the rubble, nothing was saved from the tragic incident. In fact, the only thing standing was the steel structure covered in broken glass and charred articles.
“Next month would’ve been a year since we move over…It was right next door we move over from. Basically was a general store so we has jewellery, cosmetics, hardware, household and so,” she indicated.
Just last week, they would have experienced an attempted break and enter but the matter was not reported. It was indicated that the perpetrators failed to gain entry into the building. The property is owned by another individual and was rented to the operators of Sachi for business purposes.
Meanwhile, investigations are continuing into the origin of the fire and other surrounding details. (Rupa Seenaraine)