An accident may have been the cause of the Monday afternoon fire that destroyed the Gafoors Houston Complex and its storage bonds.
Fire Chief Marlon Gentle spoke to News Source on Thursday and indicated that while the Fire Service’s investigation is still ongoing, preliminary inspection has pointed investigators in the direction that the fire may have been accidental.
“Our investigation is almost complete, we are narrowing things down. What I can say is that it doesn’t seem to be anything other than an accident,” he said.
The Fire Chief explained that while workers have been allowed into the gutted building to begin the clearing of debris there was still one area that remains “under contention.”
Mr. Gentle said there was partial and full collapse of the building that was still being evaluated by the Fire Service. He said those firefighters who were injured while battling the blaze are recovering well.
The Monday afternoon blaze started in a section of the bond and quickly engulfed the entire bond area before it headed towards the main complex.
Up to yesterday, the Executive Chairman and Owner of Gafoors, Sattaur Gafoor was still assessing his losses and finalizing arrangements with his insurance providers to begin the rebuilding process.
Some 500 workers were immediately displaced and efforts were being made to have some of them transferred to the company’s sister locations.
Mr. Gafoors said for those who could not be transferred, he was committing to paying them no less than 50% of their salaries during the downtime period.
The Gafoors company is a household name in Guyana with over 60 years of service in the hardware industry.