2 homeless, over 10 jobless as fire ravages China Star Supermarket
Two persons were rendered homeless, and 10 jobless on Saturday after a fire erupted at the China Star Supermarket, located at Commercial Zone Lethem, Region 9.
According to the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), the structure was a wooden and concrete building of two floors and was operated as a general store. It also served as the living quarters of Wuumo Cheng and Wuujian Giun.
The GFS said that at about 20:15h, firefighters noticed smoke and flames emanating from the building.
As such, the firefighters strung into action, and with the use of a pressurised fire hydrant, they were able to extinguish the blaze and save several buildings near the China Star Supermarket.
However, the China Star Supermarket was destroyed, leaving two persons homeless and more than ten persons jobless.
Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn, Chief Fire Officer (ag) Gregory Wickham, Fire Prevention Officer Sheldon Sauns, and a team of investigators visited the location on Sunday to assess the damage and ascertain what caused the fire.
The team met with John Macedo, the Mayor of Lethem, operators of the China Star Supermarket, representatives of the local business community, and other residents to discuss the way forward and the required steps to be taken to prevent a repeat of such a significant loss by fire.
“One of the issues that will soon be addressed is the certification of buildings in the commercial area to ensure that they are in keeping with the building codes since the design of the China Star Supermarket as well as the materials used in its construction hampered firefighters from gaining access to the building,” the GFS said.
Additionally, a Fire Prevention plan will be developed for the township of Lethem, and more fire hydrants will be planted in the area to stay ahead of the curve. This initiative will extend to all Regions.
“The GFS would like to extend gratitude to the Mayor of Lethem, John Macedo, Sgt. Austin, Auxiliary Firefighters, and all other public-spirited citizens who lent their support last evening and played a vital role in containing the fire.”