ANGOSTURA assured its customers that they will still be able to purchase their favourite alcoholic beverages from the company for Christmas after a fire damaged part of its premises in Laventille on Friday night.
In a statement on Saturday, Angostura said the fire damaged an area of its premises that does not involve the main rum production area.
The area affected was one of the botanical storage areas for aromatic bitters production.
Angostura said, "It is important to note that business operations, including sales, will continue as normal. Our production processes remain unaffected, and we assure our customers and partners of our commitment to uninterrupted service."
As investigations into the cause of the fire continue, Angostura said, "Our priority remains to be the safety of our employees and the community."
The company thanked its staff and the Fire Service for their tireless and assiduous efforts to curtail the spread of the fire.
"We extend our deepest gratitude to the dedicated employees and the brave firefighters whose efficiency and quick response ensured the safety of everyone involved. Their commitment to safety and professionalism in the face of adversity is truly commendable."
Speaking with the media at the scene on Friday, Angostura executive manager of business efficiency and shared services Rahim Mohammed said, "Our incident command teams, our fire wardens, they quickly contained the fire into one of the rooms and within a quick time, the TT Fire Services came on site, and we had very quick containment of the area."
He said the fire was isolated to this room, and no one was injured.
"I think it is not as critical or detrimental as it seems. I think we caught it in very good time, it was contained in very short order to prevent any widespread damage, so we are very fortunate and happy for the work of the teams."
Mohammed did not expect that the fire would affect the supply of alcohol or bitters over the Christmas period.
"It is too early to tell. We have alternative supplies elsewhere, not everything was concentrated into this one area so we really don't see a massive risk at this point in time."
Angostura Bitters is a concentrated bitters often used to flavour drinks and is world-famous. It was named the World’s Top Selling and Trending Bitters in the Annual Bar Report in 2018.
In an internal memo issued on Saturday, Angostura CEO Laurent Schun expressed the company's thanks to all of the employees who acted swiftly and decisively to contain the fire.
He said four employees needed medical attention for injuries they sustained in those efforts.
"Your heroism and commitment to each other and to our company is truly commendable."
Schun added, "Equally, I appreciate the moral support from all employees who came together during this challenging time."
He said the safety and wellbeing of employees remains Angostura's top priority."
"In light of this, as a precautionary measure, access to Building 1 and 2 will be temporarily closed off on Monday. This closure is necessary to allow our teams to thoroughly assess and ensure the proper ventilation and cleaning of air ducts in those areas."
Schun advised employees who work in these buildings to work from home during this period.
He also advised employees to liaise with their line managers and executives for any additional guidance or support that they need.
Workers were reminded that the company's employee assistance programme is available to them.