Millions of dollars went up in flames as an early morning fire on Friday completely destroyed a family’s dwelling quarters and a Chinese restaurant at Meten-Meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara.
The fire reportedly started at about 02:00h in the kitchen of the restaurant housed in the lower flat of the two-storey wooden-and-concrete building at Lot 102 Public Road, Meten-Meer-Zorg.
At the time of the blaze, the owners’ son was occupying the upper flat. When INews visited the scene, the young man Joshua Dookie, was contemplating his next move. He related that he was awakened by loud screams from his neighbours who alerted him that the bottom flat was on fire.
The man stated that as he looked, he saw huge flames emanating from the kitchen of the restaurant. He noted that within minutes the entire building was engulfed in flames.
“I stood helplessly watching the building go up in flames with no fire tender around”. He added that after the fire was spotted, neighbours contacted the Guyana Fire Station at Leonora but they were given the “attitude” by the person who took the call.
“It took the firefighters 45 minutes to arrive at the scene despite the station being ten minutes away… by the time they arrived, the building was completely destroyed… the only thing they managed to save was a neighbour’s house which had already started to catch fire”, the aggrieved man stated.
Even as they were dowsing the nearby building Dookie stated, the fire tender water ran out but they obtained water from a nearby source and managed to curtail the blaze.
He stated that the Chinese National who initially rented the place to operate the restaurant had left the country and a new batch of Chinese had taken over operations.
Dookie further stated that millions of dollars went up in flames and said that after the fire, he informed his parents. The property is not insured, he added.
Meanwhile, a Guyana Fire Service official confirmed that they received the report of the fire and tenders from Leonora were dispatched. By the time they arrived at the scene the entire building was already engulfed hence the firefighters concentrated on saving a nearby house which was in danger of being caught.
An investigation the official stated, has been launched into the cause and origin of the fire.