TRINIDAD – No leads yet in $1m Sando fire
PORT OF SPAIN – Firefighters are still trying to determine the cause of Monday’s fire at Cipero Street, San Fernando, which left a father and daughter hospitalized, destroyed their home, partially gutted two other buildings and incurred millions of dollars in losses.
James Leung, 52, a Chinese national, and his daughter Sapphia, nine, suffered superficial burns to their face and hands when the fire began in their two-storey home around 3 p.m. Leung’s wife and 14-year-old son also lived with them but they were not hurt in blaze.
The fire reportedly started at Leung’s home, which was once a popular Chinese restaurant, Golden Terrance, and then spread to the buildings on either side.
Only the top floor of a three-storey building, which housed Draperies and Interiors Mega Traders Ltd and a hardware store, were gutted while another building which housed a cake store and spa/salon was partially burnt.
However, fire officials said only the top floor of Draperies and Interiors Mega Traders Ltd was gutted while the other building was partially gutted. When the T&T Guardian visited the scene no one was at Mega Traders Ltd.
However, at the other partially burnt structure businesswomen Crystal Jagassar and Binda Collie Baldeo were counting their losses. Their businesses were not open when the fire started.
Jagassar, owner of The Elegant Touch Spa, who had been renting there for the past eight years, told the T&T Guardian she lost everything. She said Denise Myco who worked in the same building as a hairdresser also lost all her valuables. “We lost about $100,000 here. I just restock, all my equipment everything burned,” she said.
Baldeo, owner of Cake Fiesta, a cake shop downstairs Crystal’s business, said her losses were significant. “I think about $50,000. We are not insured but the landlady said she is insured,” she said.
The landlady, who lived in an adjacent two-storey house with her son, also suffered a lot of losses due to water damage because the firefighters used her property to get to the affected buildings.
Her son said: “They came in to wet our building on the side and the other building. They broke all out windows. The water was about ankle high in our house. The furniture, fixtures were water soaked. The basement had knee high water. We had plenty water damage.”
Owner of Motor Master, Ravi Seereeram, who was renting downstairs the landlady’s house but had almost completely moved out his goods as he was in the process of relocating to Munroe Road, Cunupia, said he suffered no losses.
“This part of the building was affected by water and smoke,” he said.