Correspondent Harry Arzu- Another building was completely destroyed by fire last night in this municipality. This is the second building that has been destroyed by fire here in less than a week. The ever popular Malibu Beach Restaurant and Club in the Benguche area of Dangriga was completely destroyed by fire last night. Austin Gabourel is the owner of the building. He said that the estimated value of the building is about $400,000.
Austin Gabourel- Owner of the Building
“I got outside and saw the roof completely in flames. I tried to call the fire engine but I couldn’t find the number 119 and 911 and didn’t get any answer from neither one of them. Then I called the police station and they told me that somebody had already called them, and they would go over and notify them. About 12 minutes they came and they started to pump water on the fire, and about 10 minutes, they ran out of water. They had to leave to go to refill which took them maybe about 25 minutes to return. During that time, the upstairs started to catch fire, destroying it completely. The place was not insured”.
This business establishment was quickly becoming the No. 1 place in town where artists and party goers would usually go to socialize. Denise Flores was operating the establishment. She says that the estimated loss is of between $50,000 and $80,000.
“From when we came last night, we tell we sister that somebody did it because we left at 10:30 and we have a policy that when we leave the establishment, we check everything thoroughly. We knew of people who had a good…competitors here in Dangriga- other establishments and we were aware of these things. They have ruled us electrical problems and they have ruled out butane, anything from the kitchen. So, now they are concluding that yes, it was arson and they are trying to figure out how many fires they lit and also where they lit the fire. From what they are saying it is definitely more than one. So, we are greatly disappointed, but at the same time, we are grateful that we are all alive, healthy, very young, and we will be able to rebuild”.
The fire department has since concluded that it was a case of arson.