Fire fighters and police are not ruling out arson, among other causes, of a fire that Sunday morning gutted a heavily fortified concrete bond on Duncan Street, Campbellville between Stone Avenue and Lamaha Gardens, according to Fire Chief, Marlon Gentle.
“Right now, we are not taking anything off the cards. We are treating this as very open. When you can’t call it (say precisely what was the cause) treat it as suspicious, treat it as a scene at which we have to do a lot of work,” he said. Asked precisely whether arson was being ruled out, he said “nothing is off the table.”
Gentle said when fire fighters arrived on the scene they heard explosions from cylinders outside at the back of the building. He said there were also explsions before they arrived.
Though several water tenders and bowsers arrived on the scene, water supply was quickly exhausted. That forced fire fighters to resort to nearby canals and heavily silted gutters with little success. The Fire Chief said the priority was containing the blaze to the source and preventing it from spreading to nearby buildings.
“We aint getting pressure” one fireman said to his colleague when asked to aim at flames that threatened Mohammed’s nearby residence.
The building belongs to Goolmohammed Bacchus. The bond, which was virtually gutted, contained food items imported for wholesale. Bacchus pegged his losses at upwards of $300M saying that containers of goods were being stored there.
This is the third fire that Mohammed has endured in the past year, the first being at the former MFK Building on Hadfield Street, Stabroek. Others were at a building opposite the gutted one on Duncan Street and another in one of the municipal markets.