The group of Asian shops, popularly known as “12 Door”, had black smoke and flames billowing out from every crevice at around 10am yesterday.
Isaac Samson was working with three of his female colleagues and their boss, of Asian origin, when they heard noises coming from the top floor of the building.
Assuming that some form of maintenance was going on upstairs, the staff continued with what they were doing until another male boss called out to them to escape, saying there was a fire and it was already spreading.
“Na mipla hat lo escape insait ya,” he stated. (We couldn’t escape from the inside.)
“So mipla kam autsait nogat, antap do ya, em lok na bai mipla go olsem wanem bikos faia tu em kam olsem ya. (We came out but the top door was locked and how where we going to escape, when the fire was coming in the other direction.)
Samson said he could not find the key to the second padlock. Thinking fast, he grabbed a bolt cutter and cut the lock, where he was able to escape with his female colleagues.
As for one Asian woman, the staff said she went upstairs instead. There are still no reports of any casualties.
This is the second time, after four years, that the building went up in flames.
Police were on site to maintain control while the Fire Department will investigate to determine the cause of the fire.