A business place in Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara was reduced to rubble yesterday following an early morning fire of unknown origin.
The fire occurred around 5:00 hrs, a neighbour said. And, since the ground-flat wooden structure was used solely to operate the retail electronics sales business, nobody was inside when it burned.
The store was the property of 30-year-old Raul Persaud, who says he was five minutes driving distance from the building when he was called and informed that his place was on fire. When interviewed by Stabroek News the man said that members of the Guyana Fire Service told him the fire did not have an electrical origin, although they were unable to ascertain the cause.
Persaud though, suspects arson, and reasons that whoever caused the fire would have been able to get their incendiary object(s)/item(s) into the building through its ventilation. He said that aside from electronics there was nothing else in the building that could have started a fire, and, since faulty wiring and any other electricity related cause has been ruled out he says the fire must have come from outside the building. He estimates his losses at over $4 million.
Rajnauth Raghoo, who lives just next door to where the store stood, said he was playing with his son when he heard a knocking sound outside. When the man went outside to investigate he saw smoke billowing from inside the store, and fire on the inside.
Raghoo said that he jumped onto his house’s shed and started throwing water onto the blaze in an effort to stop the fire, and to save his own premises. He explained to Stabroek News that the structure which burned yesterday was constructed after its predecessor also burned to the ground. Raghoo said the eastern section of the house was badly scorched by the previous fire and that he did not want a repeat of that.
But his buckets of water did little to quell the blaze and the man said he was happy when a fire tender showed up. However, he said that the fire truck, which came from GuySuCo, did not arrive with water and had to go looking for a water source, which it never found. He said that another tender eventually showed up, by which time the store was already reduced to nothing.