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