Customer breaks down in tears after “brand-new” vehicle destroyed in fire at Lusignan workshop

The fire ripping through the autobody workshop


By: LaWanda McAllister

A businessman is left counting millions of dollars in losses after a fire ripped through his autobody workshop, destroying some 11 vehicles which were parked there.

The blaze started around 08:20hrs today at the Shivo Autobody Workshop located at Dentist Street, Lusignan, East Coast Demerara.

It took the joint efforts of public-spirited citizens and the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) before it was brought under control.

However, the popular workshop was burnt to the ground, leaving millions of dollars in losses. This includes about 11 vehicles that were parked in the yard.

How the fires started is yet to be ascertained, but according to Shiv Latchman, owner of the workshop, said he was at Enmore when he received a call that his shop was on fire.

Shiv Latchman, the businessman

“One of the guys them called me around 8:30hrs and say that the place is on fire. So, I left what I was doing, and when I come, this is what I reach. I don’t know what started the fire or where the fire started from, all of them tell me is that it started at the back of the house,” Latchman told INews.

“All what they said was that they hear noise and see smoke and try to bring out the rest of the vehicles that were in the shop, and that was it. There are millions of losses, and all my equipment, materials – millions lost. I had about 10 or 11 vehicles that everything burns.

Plus, the vehicle on the road, parts for the vehicle was in the house,” the businessman explained.

The customer explains that their brand-new vehicle was destroyed in the fire

When this publication visited the scene, a female customer broke down in tears after learning that her brand-new vehicle was destroyed in the blaze.

Her husband explained that “we were out on the road now getting parts for the vehicle because the vehicle is a brand-new vehicle. The vehicle is a 2019 vehicle which was involved in an accident about two months ago, and there are no parts in the country for that vehicle. It is a Honda City.”

“So, we had to access parts either from Japan or Brazil because they have a company there that makes parts for Honda, but because of the coronavirus, we were not able to source any parts. So, we decided to get a private person who made some inroads in terms of getting the parts, and we went to the Bank this morning to get the monies because the parts came up to quite a sum,” he explained.

Firefighters on scene trying to put out the blaze.

The man noted that “we just called the guy to tell him that we will meet at 12:00pm for him to get the monies to purchase the parts, and then we got the message that there is a fire at Shivo’s Body Works Shop, so we came here, and this is what we see. The car is burned.”

The workshop’s employees only managed to save three vehicles, but the rapidly spreading fire and accompanying intense heat prevented them from saving the others.

Latchman had been operating his business at the location for about two decades now. However, the building was not insured.