“They are carrying our things from the warehouse, we do not expect the police to do this to us,” lamented a Lebanese storeowner who was amongst those affected by the fire outbreak on Randall Street Thursday.
Our reporter on the scene saw several police officers giving the looted items (air conditioners and other electrical appliances) to some unidentified person to take away.
“Who are you,” a police officer asked our reporter. Without response, he said “no photo taking here. In fect go outside the warehouse. No journalist is allowed here. Please go outside the warehouse.”
When a pickup containing electrical appliances arrived before a group of dejected Lebanese merchants, they demanded that the police chiefs go to the warehouse to ascertain the allegation of looting.
But the officers remain on the main Street, positioning the police fire truck to control the fire that has gutted several commercial stores.
About five other stores were at risk of being affected due to their close proximity and the congestion of the dilapidated houses in the community.
The fire, one community leader said as people in the adjacent areas were seen taking their personal effects out of their rooms, could affect about 5,000 residents.
One of the residents said she was taking I am taking my things and children to Gardnerville until the situation subsides,” Esther Smith, one of many resident affected by the fire said.
The cause of the fire was not known immediately.
According to eyewitnesses, the fire outbreak which began 7am and waned by 12: 40 pm wiped away over three buildings including Power Tech; Stop & Shop Supermarket and Eagle electronic buildings as well as residential homes at the back of the stores.
“The goods damaged today worth over $100 million United States dollars,” Power Tech operations manager only identified as Hassan said.