PRESS RELEASE – CEO of JQ Charles, Gordon Charles, has released this official statement regarding the massive fire on Thursday 22nd, October, which destroyed multiple buildings between Sir Arthur Lewis and Bridge Street in Soufriere.
“This is a tragedy that has impacted many lives and livelihoods in the town of Soufriere and while we are extremely thankful there was no loss of life, we know that the commercial tenants and residents affected have suffered a great loss. Our company has also lost a cherished property in this fire. The JQ building in Soufriere was much more than just a piece of commercial property.”
It was purchased by our family in 1959 and thus commenced our presence in and relationship with the town and people of Soufriere. While we did not conduct business within the building after 2004 and served only in the capacity of Landlord, it was a historic landmark that was the heart and heritage of the town, so that loss is not just to our family and the people of Soufriere, but to Saint Lucia. It was our intention that it’s unique French Creole architecture be preserved and serve the business people of Soufriere well for many years.”
“We must extend our deepest gratitude to the Fire Department. Thanks to their quick response, as well as help from the community, an even greater tragedy was averted. While we all await their official statements as to the source of the fire, we must focus now on rising from the ashes of this disaster together. The Government of Saint Lucia has already promised its support in getting the victims of this fire back on their feet and we want to announce that we stand beside them as they take the lead in the recovery efforts. As part of the Soufriere community, we pledge to participate in and contribute to the rebuilding efforts.”