The suspect in the White Castle fish shop fire on Saturday has been released on bail and proprietor, Jermaine Langevine will temporarily operate on the parapet outside the premises as he awaits the Mayor and City Council’s (M&CC) approval for use of the Hadfield Street Avenue.
A police source today confirmed with Stabroek News that Langevine’s common-law wife was released on station bail last evening, as the investigation into the suspected arson continues.
Speaking to Stabroek News today, Langevine said that he approached Town Clerk, Royston King on Monday on his application to temporarily operate on the Hadfield Street Avenue and King has promised to forward his request to a sub-committee meeting for discussion next week.
In the meantime, Langevine said he is left with no other alternative but to operate on the parapet.
When Stabroek News visited the business place today, Langevine and several of his employees were making the necessary preparations to have the business up and running at least by last evening. “Even if is just a lil thing, because I have staff to pay since Saturday and this business is a big thing, I can’t let it fall like that”, he said.
Langevine explained that while his business is insured he is unable to start repairs since he does not have the funds and the investigation is still not complete. “The fire service and insurance company still doing their investigation and these things does take time”, he noted.
The interior of the business at John and Hadfield Streets, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown was destroyed early Saturday morning by the blaze.
This newspaper had previously reported that the fire started around 2.30 am on Saturday and a swift response by members of the Guyana Fire Service prevented the flames from spreading through the entire building.
Following the incident, Langevine had estimated his losses to be some $18 million since among the items destroyed were the freezers, furniture, music set, televisions and fryers.
Langevine had alleged that the fire was set by the suspect as a result of domestic problems which they had been experiencing.
The couple, who have been living together for two years, have a child.
He had related that when the fire started, the business had just closed. “…I don’t know, she come and she can’t find me and she send one of the staff to buy gasoline and when they refuse to do it, she went and buy it she self, came back, went in the office and the staff then smell the gasoline and after that was a loud sound, the fire started,” Langevine had alleged.
The visibly distressed man today said that following the release of his common-law-wife, he and his staff have fears. He said the woman even turned up at his house last evening after she was granted bail.
“It shock me this morning fuh know the police put the girl (his common-law-wife) on bail because right now all the workers them scared…”, Langevine said. He added, “I plan to go meet the commander and tell him about all this ….” he said.
He also said that he plans to go ahead with pressing criminal charges against the woman while noting that the incident could have been worse if the fire officials had not responded in a timely manner.