Laparkan fire: Inventory being compiled as entire bond destroyed

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By Isanella Patoir

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The Guyana Fire Service is continuing its investigation into the massive fire which destroyed the Laparkan shipping company storage bond and the storage bond of another shipping company identified as ‘Tropical’.

The bonds are located at the Guyana National Shipping Corporation (GNIC) Wharf at Lombard and Broad Streets in Georgetown.

Millions of dollars in vehicles and other imported items which were stored in containers, barrels and boxes were completely destroyed.

Several companies, as well as private citizens, use Laparkan to import items here. The cause of the fire is not yet known; the blaze started just before midnight on Sunday.

“As far as we could see, the entire commercial bond has been burnt so we are now taking an inventory of what has been burnt. Some vehicles also that were on the wharf has also been burnt up, so we will be doing an inventory,” Commissioner of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Godfrey Statia told the News Room at the scene on Monday morning.

He said they are also inquiring about the insurance of the vehicles which includes Wranglers, Audis, BMWs, Fielder Wagons and others. It was difficult to remove these vehicles since all of the keys were locked away in a safe.

The News Room understands that the majority of the vehicles were bought by private citizens. Statia said that GRA will facilitate the clearance of these vehicles and other cargo as soon as possible.

The authorities did manage to save some vehicles.

Statia noted that there are no setbacks for the GRA department at Laparkan.

“I have asked [Laparkan] to try to get power back on to the front office so that our operations could continue,” Statia said.

The News Room understands that the fire started on the northern side of the bond. An employee, who prefers to remain anonymous, told the News Room that a ship arrived Sunday and they worked late offloading. At about 22:30hrs, they left the bond and went home; the fire started shortly after.

The security guard, who was on duty, explained that at about 23:30hrs he saw smoke emanating from the northern side of the Laparkan bond and he contacted the Fire Service.

When the News Room visited the scene on Monday, the destroyed containers were being removed as displaced workers looked on.

Fire Chief (ag) Gregory Wickham, who was also at the scene on Monday, could not provide any information as to the cause of the fire but he assured that the public will be notified when the investigation is complete.

“As soon as they would have completed that, we will give a release so that members of the public would know what was the cause of the fire.”

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