Since our last statement on the fire at the Pegasus Hotel there has been a multitude of misinformation and lies in the electronic and print media.
I am therefore compelled to repeat the facts on this matter.
At around 10:30 pm last Sunday a small fire ignited on a fryer in our kitchen. The fire was extinguished within ten minutes by Hotel Staff as the smoke alarm triggered an emergency response but residual smoke entered the lobby and a few other areas which caused anxieties and inconveniences to some of our guests. While there was no immediate serious danger, Management decided to evacuate guests for a short period out of an abundance of caution as per our standard operating procedure.
The evacuation was orderly and swift as smoke alarms in every room alerted guest. At no time were any locks on exit doors as there is never such at any other time.
On the arrival of the fire department, the fire was already extinguished and evacuations were near completed. At no time were fire officers required to evacuate anyone. Guests shortly returned to their rooms.
The account of one person saying that he was a pastor and having to evacuate his family from a higher floor and saw chains on exit doors was totally false. We put all families on the same floor and there is no record of that pastor being a guest. We have footage of everyone who were guests of the Hotel on that night.
Pegasus has a long history of safety and security of our Guests and customers. Our latest model Honeywell Fire Response System performed well, all our fire extinguishers were fully charged and Management and Staff of the Hotel were professional and up to the task.
The goodwill we developed over the past forty nine years as a safe, secure, iconic business is now threatened by the attempts of an unprofessional stream of media operatives both print and electronic. The lies, misinformation and sensational coverage of events in Guyana leaves much to be desired. They pick on every rumour, gossip or reports and make it news without any enquiry or investigation. The current distrust between businesses, the public and the political establishment has never been wider.
Untrue statements and total lies make headlines like the Guyana Times article that the Guyana Tourism Authority is investigating Pegasus Hotel and Stabroek News’ headline that the Fire service removed locks from emergency exits. This caused a scare among our customers all over the world which according to a few guests arriving at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, they thought that Pegasus was burnt down after reading the newspaper
There ought to be legislation and regulations that address this kind of media activity and their destructive tendencies. Otherwise our country with all its potential would forever remain poor.
Stabroek News stands by all of its news items on this fire.