Two businesses destroyed in Parika fire

The blaze as seen from a balcony in Parika on Wednesday afternoon

A fire ravaged a building in the Parika Commercial District on Wednesday afternoon, resulting in the destruction of a cook shop and a barbershop.

The fire of unknown origin began sometime after 4 at the two-storey wood and concrete structure.

Stabroek News was told that while one person was in the building at the time of the fire, he was able to escape unharmed.

The response by the fire service was described by one neighbour as being “poor,” as it took some time to arrive at the scene and subsequently had difficulty sourcing water to douse the blaze.

From videos of the fire shared on social media, it appeared that the flames quickly engulfed the building and proved to be a challenge to extinguish for the fire fighters.

In the end, only the walls of the lower flat of the building remained intact.

The fire also resulted in calls by residents of the area for the establishment of a fire station at Parika, since fire tenders, which are usually dispatched from the Leonora Fire Station, take some time before they arrive on scene.

“This should be a wake-up call to the authorities that Parika needs a fire station. Why? Because it would take about five to ten minutes driving from Leonora to Parika but it took less than that time for that house to burn down,” one man said.

The fire was the second in Parika’s commercial district in less than a week. Last Saturday, two business owners suffered millions in losses after a fire at the Parika Market Centre. The fire was believed to have started in the concrete bond owned by Sharmila Shaw, owner of Sharmila and Son’s Variety Store, and then spread to the nearby confectionary/snackette operated by Egerton Maxwell and his wife.

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