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Disaster strikes twice on Rose Hall main road

Published:Friday | April 16, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Shocked store owners watch as firefighters extinguish the early-morning blaze that destroyed a number of facilities at the Holiday Inn Shopping Village in Montego Bay, St James. - photo by Sheena Gayle

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer


Tragedy struck twice at the same location along the Rose Hall main road in Montego Bay, St James, yesterday morning as a fire and car accident at the Holiday Inn Shopping Village kept firefighters and the police busy for most of the morning.

The shopping village - adjacent to the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort - was the scene of a massive fire that destroyed six shops and left three others damaged.

According to acting superintendent in charge of the St James Fire Department, Dolfin Doeman, they received the call at 3:08 a.m., and requested the use of five fire units to quell the blaze.

Firefighters were seen battling the blaze when The Gleaner arrived at the scene some three hours later.

Cause unknown

Up to press time, the origin of the fire remained unknown.

"We cannot say what caused the fire at this time. It is too early to indicate. We will have to do further investigations," Doeman told The Gleaner.

The fire was the second such incident at the facility in the last five months, as a pharmacy was destroyed last November.

The Holiday Inn Shopping Village has been in operation for more than 20 years.

Meanwhile, as firefighters and the police attended to the blaze, a Toyota Tiara and a Toyota Corolla collided along the Rose Hall main road in the vicinity of the shopping village about 7:15 a.m.

The collision sent one of the vehicles crashing into an in-bond merchant's store.

The female driver of the Corolla lost control as she drove along the roadway, climbed the median and ended up on the opposite side of the road.

The driver of the Tiara was unable to take evasive action and the vehicle slammed into the side of the Corolla.

The impact of the collision sent the Corolla swerving across the busy thoroughfare and on to the Holiday Inn Shopping Village property. Both drivers were taken to hospital.