Massive city fire guts several businesses in Trinidad
by Stephen Cummings
Caribbean Net News Trinidad Correspondent
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad: A huge fire in downtown Port of Spain Trinidad has gutted a Republic Bank Branch and several other adjoining buildings located at the corner of Queen and Frederick streets in the heart of the city.
No one was reported injured at the time of the blaze. Property damage is still being assessed and could run into millions of dollars.
The fire started shortly after 6pm on Wednesday, erupting into a massive blaze. The jobs of several hundred persons have been affected.
Up to late Wednesday, investigators were still unable to say exactly what started the fire. The fire is the second to have occurred in the city in less than a year.
Firefighters who rushed to the scene were unable to fully contain the blaze because of operational problems in getting water from nearby fire hydrants.
On April 10 last year firefighters struggled to contain a blaze which cost the country some TT$20 million.
That blaze leveled the popular People's Mall and gutted Queensway Fabric Shop and Pizza Boys along with several other businesses on Queen and Frederick streets. Some of those buildings are yet to be rebuilt.
Port of Spain Mayor Murchison Brown lashed out at the operations used in extinguishing Wednesday's blaze, saying he could not understand why less time was not taken in bringing the fire under control.