Even though the massive blaze started yesterday, fire service ranks up to noon today were still trying to extinguish pockets of fire at the Gafoors Houston Complex, located on the East Bank of Demerara.
INews understands that the massive fire which resulted in the loss of billions of dollars in damages and over 500 employees uncertain about their future, had eased around 02:00 hrs today, but flared up again some time after which led to the main entrance of the building being further damaged by the flames.
Employees who turned up at their place of work today were visibly traumatised; with some of them openly expressing how uncertain they were about their future with the company. They were reportedly told by management that they should return tomorrow, Wednesday, as decisions on their jobs are pending.
While owner of the hardware giant, Sattaur Gafoor, was at the time meeting with Insurance Brokers to sort out other matters, canter operators expressed their deep concerns over possible unemployment.
However, a source told INews that some of the employees will be transferred to other locations.
Meanwhile, Deputy Fire Chief, Compton Sparman, said that while ranks were able to save some 40% of the structure, highly flammable materials are contributing to the pockets of fire. He stressed that further investigations would be needed to determine the origin of the blaze.
“I don’t want to speculate or to comment because fire investigation is a complex one…it deals with eyewitness statements, the burning patterns and if you look at the magnitude of this building, it’s very difficult,” Sparman noted.
Meanwhile, the Government issued a statement empathising with the management and staff of the company, expressing its concerns over the jobs and financial losses due to the blaze.
INews photographer, Carl Croker, revisited the damaged Gafoors Houston complex earlier today and captured the following scenes: