Before the sun rose in El Socorro yesterday morning, several residents along Farouk Avenue, Green Street and Boundary Road literally felt the heat as a fire broke out at the nearby Chrome Furnishers.
Residents told Guardian Media that at around 5:30 am they were awakened by smoke and discovered fire had broken out at the warehouse, as some workers made their way to the compound to report for duty.
They said they furiously attempted to awake the owners of the company who also lived nearby as the fire rapidly spread across the compound and began to threaten neighbouring homes including an apartment building.
“I was awakened by a loud noise, the neighbours from this house were shaking up this man’s gate trying to alert him and I woke up and I opened up the curtains and I saw the fire had just crested the six-foot wall,’ said Elisha Bocas who lived in one of the neighbouring apartment complexes.
Fire officers from the San Juan Fire Station arrived at the scene, and had to battle fires not only at the warehouse but at homes to the back of the building on Boundary Road.
Three homes along that roadway were reportedly affected.
“The fire moved very very fast, from this section where it started it grew so fast, then upstairs in this section, where there are offices,” said Bocas, “It moved very fast and very hot. We were so scared for these residents here.”
Workers at the warehouse turned up for duty, only to discover their workplace had been gutted. They sat in a nearby carpark as fire officers extinguished the blaze and awaited word from the owners.
“I feel so sad for the workers, the owners, especially the workers with no job. As I told you before I saw them coming to work, they were dressed for work,’ said Bocas.
Officials from Chrome Furnishers, who manufactures and electroplates chrome and glass furniture, said they were waiting for word from fire officers concerning the extent of the damage, but based on what they had seen yesterday morning they feared the warehouse was destroyed.
However, the managing director of the company Nazia Mohammed opted to take a philosophical outlook concerning the disaster.
“Everything happens for a reason. New beginnings are coming,” she told reporters outside the warehouse yesterday.
The cause of the blaze is still being determined.
Earlier this month a warehouse at Citrus Drive, Enterprise, Chaguanas, which housed goods for Alisha Marketing and Sumeds Ltd was destroyed by fire.