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Leaking cooking gas line caused Sunday’s huge fire

Investigators said the early Sunday morning fire that destroyed several businesses in Georgetown was as a result of a leaking ‘patch-work’ cooking gas.

“There was indeed an ignition of leaking Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) that started the fire,” said Fire Chief Marlon Gentle in referring to the fire at Camp and Robb Streets. He said a probe has so far revealed that gas lines connected with pieces of hose were connected to various parts of the building. “They were operating four hundred pound cylinders with gas being piped to various parts of the building through a contraption of pipes and hoses,” he said.

He could not conclusively say what ignited the “very, very flammable” gas but he assumed that it could have been an electrical outlet, a lamp or anything that generated sufficient heat.

The Fire Chief said the probe team believed that an electrical connection nearby might have ignited the gas, resulting in an initial explosion.

Gentle said evidence supports that the view that more than six persons lived in the building. The building, formerly owned by A.H&L Kissoon, housed a Chinese hardware store, a Chinese restaurant and a small take-away snackette. The adjoining building that once housed Friend’s Hotel and Travel Service was used as a bond by Chinese businesspersons.

No one has been reported injured in that fire that began about 2 AM. Republic Bank’s branch was slightly damaged by the intense heat.