A few owners of stores at the drag mall on lower Henry Street in Port of Spain that had been gutted by fire nine days ago, were yesterday trying to clean up the debris.
Troy Tafari, who owns Fronto (tobacco leaf) King, spoke with Newsday about plans going forward especially as the Christmas season is in full swing. He said as occupiers of the business and not owners of the land, they have to adhere to necessary requirements for rebuilding.
“We are cleaning up right now at our own cost. The mayor said he doesn’t want any street vending, so we just hoping we could get inside here clean enough that we could do a little vending on the compound before Christmas.
“We have a meeting with the Port of Spain city corporation because they are not allowing us to rebuild the structures unless they are built properly and to a proper fire code. It will cost a little more, but to get our businesses back off the ground we are willing and able to build the correct way. So tomorrow the meeting will be to let us know how to build so that the building will be certified enough for it to be passed.”
He said it was not about finishing in time for Christmas. “This is about a business in the long run. For Christmas? We have to fight up as any other fire victims, and go through the pain that goes with it.”