With 21 stores, SP 2000 was the biggest plaza in the Corozal Free Zone but last night it was destroyed by a massive fire which wiped the two storey building down to ashes and rubbles. The fire started around 5:30 yesterday evening and tonight it continues to burn. Chairman of the Corozal Free Zone Chamber of Commerce Michael Arnold was there and captured it on his video camera. He told us what he saw.
Michael Arnold, Chairman – Free Zone Chamber of Commerce
“When I got in, the Mexican fire trucks were there and the water trucks and police and everybody was there. That was at about nine o’clock. I understand the fire started between four and five o’clock in the evening. Other people in the Zone were dialing 911 and they were trying to get help from Corozal and elsewhere and they said the fire burnt for at least half an hour before anyone arrived and this is the problem that made the fire so big.
It started very small since it seems it was an electric shortage and because it was a holiday, the owners were not in most of the buildings. The buildings have at least 25 to 30 smaller shops on the first floor and on the second floor is warehousing and so forth. Apparently it started in one of the warehouses due to the hurricane damage.
When I arrived at the scene, I noticed that half of the building, the fire was already calmed down and it was destroyed and they were working on the second half of the building because there is a passage way in the middle so the right hand side was burnt and the left hand side, the side next to Mr. Quinto’s building, was being consumed at the time when I reached. So that is what I saw and that is where I started to actually get some live footage as to what was taking place.”
The losses are estimated to be in the millions. The building alone is valued at $6 million. A total of 180 persons were employed in the 21 stores.