Angostura chairman: Staff worked hard to save alcohol stocks during fire

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Terrence Bharath –

ANGOSTURA chairman Terrence Bharath, SC, on Monday paid tribute to staff who had laboured to help to bring the blaze under control that had broken out on the company’s compound last Friday.

Addressing the launch of the company’s new Solera retail outlet at Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain, he recalled the fire as “like a scene out of a movie.”

Bharath recalled asking a fireman why he was not dousing the fire with water, only to be told that adding water to alcohol in that scenario could have created a disaster.

He praised company staff who had been running around the site conveying kegs of foam to fight the fire, which was otherwise tackled by fire fighters.

“What I saw was Angostura staff. They came to each other like a symphony.

“They spoke the language of trying to save Angostura.”

Bharath said, had the alcohol stocks ignited, the blaze would never had been brought under control.

“The spirit I experienced that night gave me confidence in humanity.

“There was no class, no creed, no religion – everybody banded together to save Angostura.”

Bharath said at one point he had taken a decision to empty out all the alcohol stocks to curtail the fire, but a long-standing employee had interjected and told him the stocks could safely be saved.

He said with smoke inhalation having rendered him somewhat delirious, he had wondered to himself if the insistent employee was some sort of divine intervention.

“Because of that gentleman we saved a large quantity of alcohol.

“Even in the midst of destruction, he had wanted to make money for Angostura. That’s the kind of people working at Angostura. I salute this gentleman.”

Bharath deeply thanked Ansa McAl and Industrial Rubber Products (IRP) for help with foam during the fire, plus Davy Boodoosingh and FT Farfan for helping with emergency lighting.

“We saved Angostura.”