Fire destroyed the India Live Expo in Chaguanas this morning.

The blaze was reported at around 3.15am.

Fire officers broke through a concrete wall to get into the building.

But nothing could be saved, the Express was told.

The India Live Expo was operated by local businessman, Vijay Ramai.

In a brief interview with the Express, Ramai said he believes he was a victim of an arson attack.

He said, "There were numerous arson attempts at this building in the last six months. We have put in numerous security measures including external lighting."

Ramai said the India Live Expo offered East Indian clothing, furniture and other items for sale.

He said the building and stock, valued at $15 million, were destroyed.

Fire officials said an investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the blaze.

Last week, Ramai called on the government to grant work permit extensions to Indian merchants operating in this country.

Ramai said for over six years the Indian Trade Fair in this country has been in impeded by the government's decision to not endorse work permit applications.

He said trade fair wholesalers play a crucial role in the “value chain” for local entrepreneurs involved in East Indian fashion, culture and food.


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