GUYANA: Fire destroys Sharon’s Mall at King and Charlotte Streets, Georgetown.

FIRE: Sharon’s Mall on the evening of April 28, 2021.

April 29, 2021 – Kaieteur News – Fire fighters last evening had a difficult time controlling a raging fire at the Sharon’s Mall situated at the junction of King and Charlotte Streets, Georgetown.

Based on information gathered at the scene, the fire soon after it was detected quickly swept through the two top floors of the four-storey building. Sharon’s Mall is a building that rents space to lawyers and other business owners.

Up to press time, no one was able to confirm the estimated loss but it is believed to be several millions.
This publication understands that a small fire was first detected and persons who were still in the building were quickly evacuated.

When Kaieteur News arrived at the scene sometime after 18:00hrs, a number of fire fighters and police officers were already there and had started to cordon off the area. At that time only clouds of black smoke were visible outside of the building.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, who arrived at the scene shortly after the fire started, told reporters, “When I got here, it appeared as though they had it under control but what appears to be happening is that it’s a concrete and steel building with drop ceilings and the fire is moving slowly…making it difficult because the fire is burning beneath the floor and the drop ceilings.”

“It’s difficult but they are working at it, obviously we have to look at the construction of the building and fundamental issues,” the Minister further stated.

The Minister went on to note too that in the future, persons who would like to construct buildings higher than two floors, must have a fire alarm system, a sprinkler system and a rising main in place.

In referencing his past criticism of the Fire Service, the Minister reiterated the need for fire fighters to better understand the types of building construction and the challenges they are likely to face when engaging conflagrations.

Meanwhile, some of the business owners who were at the scene expressed dissatisfaction with the work of the fire fighters. One man stated that the fire fighters arrived promptly but “wasted time…they wait till the fire start blazing then to actually start putting water on that building.”

The owner of a stationery business said that she arrived when there was just mere smoke. “I asked to go in and clear my stall since it wasn’t anything major…as I was about to enter the Deputy Fire Chief turned me back and stated that they have everything under control…now look persons on the ground floor got to empty their stalls and this is the under control that they have it under control.”

When this publication left the scene around 20:30hrs, fire fighters were still struggling to control the blaze as persons gathered in their numbers at the nearby corners to watch on.

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