Fire Service confirms Parika market fire caused by welding sparks

Fire Service confirms Parika market fire caused by welding sparks

The Guyana Fire Service has announced that it has confirmed that the fire which gutted the Parika market on Friday afternoon was caused by sparks from welding that was being done on a metal structure above the market.

In a statement, the Fire Service said that based on its investigations, some of the residue from the welding torch fell into a storage bond for a shop at the market and ignited the fire, which destroyed more than 40 shops, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in losses and damages.

The Fire Service said the afternoon fire which quickly engulfed the entire market, was aided by heavy wind in the area. The Fire Service was criticized by some shopkeepers for its response. The closest Fire Service to Parika is located several miles away at Leonora.

Eyewitnesses said the first fire tender arrived at the scene, more than an hour after the fire started.

Shopkeepers were the first to point investigators to the welding work that was being done by a contractor above their shops in the market. A big metal frame was being constructed as part of building a new market above the old one.

On Sunday, many of the shopkeepers gathered at the scene on what would have been a busy market day for them.

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