A fire in the Eccles Industrial Estate last night completely destroyed the factory of Comfort Sleep Mattress Company factory and a bond owned by Payless store and threatened to consume surrounding structures as firemen battled to douse the flames.
When this newspaper arrived at the scene at around 19:00 hours, the fire was raging and the chemicals and other materials used in foam mattress manufacturing caused loud explosions to go off.
Firemen however braved the heat and worked to save nearby buildings from being engulfed in the flames. Up to around 20:15 hours they were sourcing water from a nearby canal and inundating the still erect buildings.
“It is a big blow…around this time…with all of the orders we have backed up to fulfil both local and overseas,” said Deodat Narine, Production Manager at Comfort Sleep. But he assured that none of the employees will lose their jobs.
“Nobody will be out of a job…everyone will continue to have a job at Comfort Sleep,” said the tearful manager. “We don’t know as yet [what might have caused the fire] security just said that he heard a hard noise and then saw the fire in the building.
Another senior staff of Comfort Sleep Mattress said that by the time she and others got down to the factory everything was consumed by the fire. “By the time we got here it was already gutted…everything lost over there…all our raw materials, all our chemicals to make the foam, that is what we stored over there…it’s all gone,” said Amanda Chung, pointing to the razed building.
According to the woman, the fire started at a building owned by another business enterprise and for which Comfort Sleep rents a part. She said that all of the workers had already left for the day when the fire started.
She told media representatives that there were just around 30 employees working at the site. “We heard that the fire started at Payless…we heard the fire came from their building. But we have not heard what caused it,” she said.
“But this is really, really, really horrible,” she said. She said that the building was insured but could not say whether that insurance was full coverage. She said that the company rents a part of a building from Payless.
As the fireman fought back the flames, the Guyana Power and Light as a precautionary measure cut off the area’s electricity supply.
An officer from the Guyana Fire Service last night at 21:30 confirmed that the fire was brought under control after two buildings were destroyed. The officer however was unable to provide information as to the cause of the fire.