Rasbert Turner, Sunday Gleaner Writer
More than 150 persons will be without jobs come tomorrow after a massive fire gutted the Omni Industries complex in Twickenham Park, St Catherine, yesterday.
"This is a sad day for us. I have been working here for 10 years and it is just last Monday that I entered a pardna (partner)," said a tearful Marsha Johnston as she looked at what was left of her workplace.
The sadness was echoed by a number of other employees who were milling about the complex after the blaze which gutted the finished product section of the complex.
Initial reports put the damage of the property and goods at approximately $300 million. The property was reportedly fully insured.
"I was at home when I received a call that the building was on fire. When I got here, this is the sad reality that I saw. This has crippled us persons who will have to be laid off," said Von Whyte, managing director of the company which produced PVC pipes, plastic buckets, crates, washtubs, pipe fittings and plastic bags for export.
Whyte said Omni has occupied the former Thermo Plastic complex for 12 years.
The fire service was called shortly after 2 a.m. when persons saw a blaze coming from the building. When a team arrived, the building was engulfed in flames.
After several hours the blaze was brought under control but cooling down operations continued until well after 11:00 a.m.
The cause of the fire was not determined up to press time.