Millions in losses as fire destroys several buildings at La Grange

One of the buildings destroyed by the fire

A popular La Grange, West Bank Demerara (WBD) businessman is now counting his losses after a fire destroyed his dwelling and business place along with several houses on Tuesday morning.

The businessman, Puroshotam Jewan called ‘Rambo’ is believes the fire was maliciously started at his neighbour’s house and he is also casting some blame the Guyana Fire Service for their poor response.

The fire started just about 01:30hrs at the home of Rajwatie and Mahase Anantram at Lot 36 La Grange Public Road, WBD.

Rajwatie told INews that an alarm was raised, by one of Jewan’s tenants, and when she and her husband came down to inspect, they discovered a mat on fire by one of the posts at the lower-flat of their building.

Rajwatie Anantram

Since she is a seamstress and her husband a tailor, Rajwatie said she proceeded to inspect the sewing room to ensure there was not fire there.

“So me try fuh open the door to see if the fire coming from the sewing room (but there wasn’t any.) Me husband come and he out the fire. Me say bai this nah come from the sewing room, somebody got to throw fire because over there is a business place and when me mek so I picked up something thinking is a sponge but was a mat on fire by the post.

“We out it, we go back to bed. Like 15 minutes I hear shattering and me say what happen deh bai, he say ‘fire gyal fire’. So when me come out the room, he said get clothes but me couldn’t get clothes, and me go to the back room and knock the wall for the neighbour that alerted me and me say ‘Pammy fire.’ I don’t know if she called the fire reel but she did go because the fire reel isn’t far from here,” the woman related.

The elderly couple was unable save anything. Rajwatie related that a neighbourhood man, known for causing trouble, has been taken into custody for the fire since he was the only person on the road at the time when it started.

The fire destroyed the neighbour’s house as well as several properties next door which is owned by the businessman.

Businessman Puroshotam Jewan called “Rambo”

Jewan said he is furious at the way the firefighters from the La Grange Fire Station operated.

He related that when his neighboours raised the alarm about the fire, his tenant immediately rushed to the Fire Station and summoned the firefighters. When the firefighters arrived, Jewan’s buildings were not on fire as yet since his neighbour’s had just started. However, the events that unfolded afterwards led the businessman to blame the firefighters.

“They didn’t try to save my building because we didn’t have no fire. I was inside soaking it with fire extinguisher and so. They didn’t get a start (on the pump) and when they get a start there wasn’t no water…They caused my building to burn down.

“Then Leonora come and back up and my son does work with Puran (Brothers) and he called Puran and Puran come but by the time all thing was done,” the upset businessman said.

He has been operating a business at that location all his life since the place once belonged to his mother.

Jewan said that he had four houses in the yard with a number of apartments and they were all destroyed. Along with his business place, his home was also destroyed.

“This building was 148ft in building. I had 2 sets of houses. There was a canter there with my whole music set about $25 million gone down. I stocked this place up for mash today. Everything burn up inside there. There are 4 houses in the yard and I have some apartment at the back. I worked my whole life here,” the 63-year-old related.

The man operated a bar at the location. He also wholesaled beverages and does rentals for events – chairs, tables, sound systems etc.