It is suspected that arson was the cause of the fire that ravaged a building at Lot 101 Cummings Street on Saturday night, causing damage to three business places in the process, says Fire Chief Marlon Gentle.
Gentle stated last evening that flammable substances were found at the scene, which it is believed were used to ignite the fire. He was not keen on going into further detail as investigations are still ongoing.
The Cummings Street location houses The Lingerie Shop, Elaine’s Fashion and Ram’s Pharmacy.
The fire reportedly began in Ram’s Pharmacy, which occupies the right side of the building. When Stabroek News arrived at the scene yesterday, Lakeram Odit, the owner of Ram’s Pharmacy, along with others, were attempting to salvage whatever remains they could from the ruins. Odit could not state exactly how much he suffered in losses but commented that it was a substantial amount.
Next door, family members had also come to assess the damage the fire had caused over at Elaine’s Fashion. The proprietor had not been there at the time.
Divisional Officer Compton Sparman related yesterday that firefighters had taken some time to gain entry into the building because of its compartmentalization and the fact that the building was secured with grills. It was reported yesterday that firefighters were seen using power saws to gain access to the building to put out the flames.
Based on what Stabroek News gathered at the scene on Saturday evening, the fire started in the pharmacy just after 11 pm.
There was no sign of fire but thick black smoke was observed coming from the section of the building where the pharmacy was located. Loud explosions could also be heard.
Stabroek News archives revealed that there had been an arson attempt on that very building in December 2011. It was reported that the building, owned by Oliver Hinckson, had been ravaged after gasoline was poured on two carpets after a break and enter and robbery in the building.
The perpetrator(s) reportedly entered through the pharmacy, where they stole a quantity of drugs, cosmetics and other items, before pouring the fuel.