Fire guts century-old building in Princes Town

One of the old­est build­ings in Princes Town has been de­stroyed in a fire.

Po­lice said Car­los Bar on High Street, caught fire around 3 am on Mon­day.

One of the prop­er­ty own­ers Sheri­dan Mo­hammed said he was un­cer­tain what caused the fire.

“At this point, we are think­ing it could have been an elec­tri­cal prob­lem,” Mo­hammed said even though there were no pow­er surges or no­tice­able elec­tri­cal mal­func­tion­ing pri­or to the blaze.

Mo­hammed said the build­ing could have been over 100 years old but the front of the store had been mod­i­fied sev­er­al years ago. He said he got news of the fire around 3.15 am, and when he got there, the fire-fight­ers were busy try­ing to stop the flames from spread­ing to Har­ry’s Plaza next door.

“The en­tire build­ing was well alight. There was good co­or­di­na­tion from the fire-fight­ers. They went to the Mal­gretoute WASA sta­tion to get wa­ter. They could not save the bar but they con­tained the fire,” Mo­hammed said.

“We would like to thank the Fire Ser­vices for all they did,” he said.

The build­ing was in­sured but for a min­i­mal amount.

“We had about five em­ploy­ees work­ing in the bar. It will be built back but in time,” Mo­hammed added.

He said the build­ing used to house the Bo­nan­za Stores but 60 years ago it be­came a pop­u­lar bar. Adri­an Gay, who was stand­ing near the burnt ru­ins, said he had many mem­o­ries in the bar.

“This was a pop­u­lar place and we are sad it burnt down,” Gay said. Own­er of Har­ry’s Plaza Dar­ren Har­ri­lal al­so said he was thank­ful that his build­ing was saved.

“The rub­ble from the burn­ing build­ing fell on­to our build­ing and caused roof dam­age. Eight stores from the Plaza in­clud­ing Dam­as­cus Grill, Es­ther’s Beau­ty Sa­lon, Chan­rol Pho­tog­ra­phy, An­ge­lo’s Trav­el Ser­vice and Judy’s store were closed.

Har­ri­lal al­so praised the ef­forts of the T&T Fire Ser­vice, WASA, TTEC and the TTPS for co­or­di­nat­ing ef­forts to save oth­er build­ings on High Street. He said more than 100 em­ploy­ees from Har­ry’s Plaza were dis­placed.

Po­lice cor­doned off part of High Street for most of the day as util­i­ty teams at­tempt­ed to clear the streets of fall­en elec­tri­cal lines. Fire of­fi­cers said they are con­tin­u­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions to de­ter­mine the ex­act cause of the blaze.

- by Radhica De Silva

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