All that’s left of
Chanroutie Seepersaud’s business.
disaster left three of the victims devastated, after their businesses were
destroyed by the blaze, suspected to be of electrical origin.
“I asked Father to give me strength”…… Chanroutie Seepersaud, 74.
said the flames were first seen shortly after 03:00 h when electricity was
restored, following a Guyana Power and Light (GPL) power outage.
after the restoration, an electricity surge was experienced and sparks were
seen on an Orange Walk line.
seconds, the wires connected to stalls quickly caught afire, eyewitnesses
thing they knew is that the shops began to burn, they said.
Mr. William King, standing dazed and at a loss for words outside his razed business at Bourda Market.
the scene, firefighters broke open the tightly secured structures and did an
incredible job at containing the inferno and averting a bigger catastrophe in
distraught owners of the shops said they had put all their energies and hard
earned life savings into developing their enterprises and were at a loss to
decide their next move.
importantly, they said their immediate concern is how to find money to pay for
stocks taken on credit because they had no insurance.
The items at Bissoondai Rajnaraine’s shop – razed by fire and doused with water from the Bourda market trench.
to her stalls at 06:00 h and was confronted with the destruction.
it was an electrical fire,” the woman concluded, adding that up to 10:45 h
yesterday, GPL employees had not disconnected the current and at least one man
suffered electric shock while assisting to clear the debris.
said she started vending at Bourda at a very young age, selling greens on a
crate at John Forde Car Park, East Street.
took sun, rain and dew and endured all kinds of conditions,” she related.
recalled that, about 15 years ago, she bought the space at Bourda Green and
her task was made a little more comfortable but still entailed very hard work.
mother, Seepersaud, now widowed at 74, has been selling there for at least 40
A distraught Bissoondai (seated at right) along with her daughters at the scene of the fire.
started as a greens vendor but switched to groceries as she got older.
was hard fetching boulangers in bags and baskets, so I turned to groceries,”
the silver-haired septuagenarian said.
her children do not want her to work but she would not hear of giving up
working to be maintained by them.
who lives in Campbellville, another city ward, said her daughter telephoned
her about 06:30 h yesterday, telling her something was wrong at the market and
she was coming to get her.
I reached and saw this, I asked the Father above to give me faith,”
Seepersaud said, noting, in tears, that she could have collapsed over the more
than one million dollars loss.
about five cases of aerated drinks were saved for her.
widower, said he had been conducting his business for the past seven years
since the death of his wife and it had become very much a part of him.
provided him with an income and felt a commitment to continue serving the
people who have supported him through those years.
he did not go back to his stalls after locking up on Friday afternoon, being a
Seventh-Day Adventist and, on Sunday, he injured one leg and stayed away, as
said he experienced some strange premonitions on Sunday and he kept asking God
to reveal what was about to happen and give him the strength to bear what was
in store but, not for one moment, did he expect what greeted him yesterday.
He and the others affected will have to remain out of business for some time as, apart from having to clean up and find money to rebuild and restock their shops, they also have to await permission from the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to make any fresh start.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009