The fire began at Golden Terrace Restaurant, one of the oldest fixtures of the city, and spread to the neighbouring Draperies and Interiors and Mega Traders buildings. His Worship the Mayor Alderman Haji Kazim Hosein along with the Member of Parliament for San Fernando East the Honourable Randall Mitchell went to the scene immediately upon hearing of the incident. After liaising with the fire officers on the scene, the Mayor commended the Fire Services, TTPS, T&TEC, WASA, and the SFCC Water Tender for their combined efforts to get the blaze under control. “This is a horrific accident for our city,” he said, “but I must remark on the cooperation and effectiveness of all those bodies who came out to help. The quick response of the protective services saved the lives of at least two persons, and I am very thankful that the young children in the restaurant were saved.”
His Worship specially mentioned the efforts of Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Cecil Davis who was able to mobilise the San Fernando and Princes Town Fire Services. He also praised Mr. Lester Lall of T&TEC, WASA Chairman Romney Thomas, and the SFCC CEO Mr. Indarjit Singh, who all diverted resources from the respective organizations to ensure that there was a constant supply of water and manpower on scene. Onlookers were also acknowledged for respecting the perimeter set up by the protective services and remaining orderly throughout the incident.
The Mayor further appealed for the adherence to fire safety codes, recalling a recent fire on Pointe-a-Pierre Road where there were no handheld fire extinguishers on the premises. He also commented on the close proximity of the Cipero Street buildings and the lack of proper fire exits, all factors which contributed to the rapid spread of the fire. “We must ensure that there are fire extinguishers within the business places. Also, some of these buildings have only one point of entry and egress, and this is a problem that Town and Country and the San Fernando City Corporation must troubleshoot. There has to be proper planning from the initial construction to ensure that accidents like these can be prevented.”
He went on to say that this was a costly loss for these family-owned businesses, estimating it in the millions. However, he continued, “we are a resilient people in the city of San Fernando, and by the grace of God, we will rebuild.”
- San Fernando City Corporation