Fire damage at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel, Guyana. (Image credits: Google images)

Guyana: Ramada Hotel closes down due to fire damage

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The Ramada Hotel, better known as the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel in Guyana is closing down indefinitely, just 48 hours after a massive fire damaged a major section of the hotel. On Monday, the staff announced that the 194-room hotel will remain closed “until further notice due to the extensive damage suffered.”

“At this moment, the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel is working with the authorities, in organising a plan to deal with issues that our guest faces at this time. We appreciate your patience and sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused during this difficult time.”

The staff is also expected to contact guests through a representative for further information and advice on the state of affairs. The statement said, “We regret to inform the public that the Ramada Princess Hotel will be closed, until further notice due to the extensive damage suffered.”

According to the report issued by the Guyana Fire Services (GFS), the “fire broke out on the fourth floor in room 431 of the six-storey building” on Saturday. The hotel was hosting many guests who were in town for the Cricket Carnival and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The GFS also stated that “there were no serious injuries or casualties,” then went on to add that “one guest was conveyed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation by Emergency Medical Technicians for treatment of smoke inhalation”.

In 2014, the hotel had joined the ranks of the international Ramada hotel chain, which in turn, is a part of the Wyndham Hotel Group. The Wyndham Hotel Group’s footprint reaches 68 countries, under the banners of 15 hotel brands. The group is a conglomerate that includes roughly 7,440 hotels and has over 638,300 rooms at its disposal.

The official statement issued by the hotel, announcing its closure, expressed “gratitude and appreciation” for President Irfaan Ali and his government for it’s support in such hard times.

The statement went on to address the “the Guyana Fire Service for their prompt response and herculean effort in saving our hotel, and the Guyana Police Force for all of their organised effort in assisting and evacuating guests and staff from the building”.

Immediately after the incident, the authorities had launched an investigation into the cause of the devastating fire. The investigation is being headed by Fire Prevention officials, who have the complete support of the police.

The significance of the incident is apparent from the fact that President Irfaan Ali, Vice President Bharrat Jadgeo, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn, Minister of Tourism Oneidge Walrond, Minister with Responsibility for Information Kwame McCoy, COP Clifton Hicken and other officials were on scene from around 11 pm in the evening until about 3 am after the fire was brought under control.

A special mention must go to Chief Fire Officer Gregory Wickham and his 28-personnel firefighting team which evacuated all the guests with supreme speed and efficiency. It is due to their actions and quick thinking that the guests were evacuated to safety without any harm coming to them.

While the exact details of what cause this incident is unclear, it is quite apparent that it is being taken quite seriously by the authorities. Judging by the swift action being taken to ascertain the cause of the incident, it is fairly likely that quick developments will be made in this case.