Quick action saves bakery from total destruction
The proprietor and staff of Lyn Max Bakery, located on 20 Slipe Road in Kingston, are counting their blessings in the Yuletide season as their lives and source of income were spared from the raging heat of an early morning fire.
Ricky, one of the bakers, could be hailed as the hero in the ordeal, as he discovered something was amiss when he went to the oven room about 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
"Me guh up deh and see the smoke and affi run back downstairs and call the other man dem. Me all throw water pon it and it gash up," Ricky said, his clothes and hair caked in flour, indicating his efforts to contain the blaze.
According to Warren Thompson, assistant superintendent from the York Park Fire Station, the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. At least three units from the York Park and Half-Way Tree stations responded to the blaze at 9:36 a.m. The fire was mainly contained to the top floor of the two-storey building.
"It was an oven and other equipment used to carry out baking that was destroyed and some unpacked baked products," Thompson told THE STAR.
The news team was allowed to have a walkthrough of the damaged bakery. Several trays of unbaked loaves of bread and other pastries stacked on racks were spotted. Raw dough sat on countertops and flour was scattered on the floor.
For Ricardo Benloss, who has been working at the bakery for the past 18 years, when he was alerted to the fire by his co-worker, he feared that he had lost his income, just a few days before the start of the new year. He shared that he arrived at work from 7:30 a.m., re-papering 13 bags of flour.
"When me see the fire, me say 'A wah dis yah now?' Me start fret because a this me know fi do, this pay my rent and my bills and everything. But honestly, me glad say nothing bad never happen. We life spared and we just affi start some cleaning up yah now," Benloss related.
Breathing a huge sigh of relief is Clarence Maxwell, who has been the operator the bakery for the past two decades. He told the news team that he is grateful no major damage was done to his business.
"A suh it go right after the holiday. Me not even come a work, mi just send them to come open and a this news here reach me. Me never plan fi work this week. I was sold out from Saturday" Maxwell said.
However, Maxwell stressed that while this is the second time his establishment has experienced a fire, Wednesday's inferno could have been avoided. Though an official cause of the fire has not been determined, Maxwell suspects that something may have gone wrong with the oven. He estimated his damages to be in the millions but is determined to push through his losses.
"We have another oven downstairs you know, so we will use that one in the interim," he disclosed.