by Kurt Campbell
The employment of hundreds of workers attached to the Gafoors Houston Complex is in limbo following yesterday’s devastating fire, which gutted the bond and the main shopping complex.
Many of the workers arrived at the charred remains of the complex this morning to uncertainty.
Employees turned up dressed in their working attire but were not allowed on the premises where fire fighting operations were still ongoing.
Expressions of sadness and disappointment were splashed across the faces of many as they sought comfort in the arms of each other.
The Executive Chairman and Owner of Gafoors, Sattaur Gafoor, returned to the site this morning and told News Source that efforts were being made to deploy some of the employees to other locations.
“We are deploying people, we are trying to make arrangements to put people in place,”Mr. Gafoors assured. He said while the Beterverwagting and Parika locations could accommodate some of the staff, it was improbable to have all 530 workers of the Huston Complex transferred.
The Gafoors complex housed one of the largest bonds in Guyana but Mr. Gafoor was still counting his losses on Tuesday. He said he wants to start back operations soonest but believes the loss of documents, computers and servers could possibly cripple the more than 60-year-old business.
“Like everyone else I am concerned about a number of things, like where do we start, what do you do first, what about your employees because remember we lost everything and you can’t start a business without documentation,” he explained.
Meanwhile, firefighters were still in firefighting mode when News Source visited the location around 9 o’ clock this morning, mopping up their operations.
Fire Service Commanding Officer, Compton Sparman told News Source that the fire service was still investigating to determine the cause of the fire but confirmed that six firefighters where injured while fighting the Monday afternoon blaze.
“One collapsed, another had a fractured neck, some of them had lacerations about their body and another one wasn’t breathing properly but by the time he reached the hospital and they gave him oxygen he was good,” Mr Sparman said, as he rushed to keep workers from entering the building. Sparman assured that all six of the injured firefighters were out of danger.
“The fire service’s presence will be here until the entire fire is extinguished. The fire is under control with no immediate threat of spread. There are a lot of pockets of fire in the building that we are still trying to extinguish,” he added.
Employees will not be allowed into the building until the fire service’s job is complete