A fire which broke out at Express House building at Independence Square, Port of Spain left two businesses gutted on Sunday afternoon.
Newsday was told the fire may have started in a small area on the ground floor eastern side of the building near two businesses – Koria’s Beauty Salon and D-Drinks Outlet.
Sources told Newsday that at about 4.39 pm on Sunday, barbers at the salon heard an explosion. Shortly after, the workers smelled smoke.
Reporters in the Trinidad Express newsroom on the middle floor also caught the smell and alerted authorities. Fire officers and police responded to the call. By that time smoke was coming out of D-Drinks Outlet – a mini-mart two doors down from the salon.
Fire officers doused the blaze, but not before extensive damage was done to both businesses. Electricity to the entire building had to be cut off and people inside were evacuated.
There are no injuries reported.
Louis Corbin, owner of D-Drinks Outlet, said he is worried because goods for the Christmas season was already bought and stored at the mini-mart.
“My next step is to see what kind of damage this caused,” Corbin said.
“I have a lot of foodstuff – snacks and drinks, as well as a lot of cooking oil and so on. A lot of items you have to buy in bulk to get a cheaper price. All of that could be gone.”
Koria Williams, owner of the beauty salon, said she hoped the source of the fire was found quickly enough so that her business could resume as soon as possible.
“It is December and everyone wants to be out and working. We are already going through a pandemic,” she said.
Fire officers are still trying to establish the cause of the blaze.
This story has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.
Fire officers are at Independence Square in Port of Spain dealing with a fire at the Express House building.
Newsday was told that Express Newspaper workers smelled smoke and alerted the authorities at around 4.39 pm on Sunday.
Fire officers are at Independence Square in Port of Spain dealing with a fire at the Express House building. pic.twitter.com/YvanqW9wHZ
— T&T Newsday (@Newsday_TT) November 28, 2021
When fire and police officers arrived, they saw smoke coming out of D-Drinks Outlet on the ground floor.
Officers said power to the building may have to be shut off and traffic redirected.
Workers were safely evacuated and there have been no reported injuries.