The stove, kitchen, air conditioning units, surveillance recorder and other valuables were destroyed and severely damaged by the blaze. The fire started about 4:20 AM.
Guyana Fire Service investigators were not ruling out arson based on the evidence at the scene. A high-ranking fire service officer said the gas lines were tampered with and the surveillance cameras vandalized before a flammable substance was poured and the fire set.
Fire fighters broke into the premises and extinguished the blaze before any major damage.
Franchise-owner, Shareef Ahmad, however, said workers explained to him that the cooking gas hose could have been dislocated while move the stove during cleaning. The business closed its doors about 8:45 Saturday night, he said.
Ahmad said the 11 workers would be deployed to the branches on Sheriff Street, Subryanville and Grove, East Bank Demerara.
Estimating his losses at more than GUY$5 million, Ahmad hopes to rehabilitate the area being leased from Sol and import new kitchen appliances and other accessories for the branch he hopes to reopen in the coming months.