A fire tore thru a segment of the eastern side of the historical Potters Cay fish fry late Sunday evening, April 11th, that saw 6 stalls completely destroyed and two adjacent stalls damaged. Additionally, at least two vessels were completely lost to the fire. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined by the Fire Branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. The fire comes just as vendors were beginning to see more customers return to the site, which saw business significantly disrupted during the restrictions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. More than twelve families will be affected by the fire.
On Monday morning, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Hon. Michael C. Pintard, along with Parliamentary Secretary Carlton Bowleg, and senior ministry officials paid a visit to the vendors to see the destruction first hand. Speaking to the press, Minister Pintard assured vendors that the ministry would do whatever it could to help bring some relief to Potters Cay. “Our hearts go out to the vendors and their families who rely on these businesses. It is incredible the intensity of the fire and you can see by the level of damage that is going to take a while for a number of these vendors to rebound” he said.
Minister Pintard assured vendors that the Ministry would move as quickly as possible to ensure that the rebuilding process commences “soon.” Representatives of the two vendors associations met with Ministry officials later that morning to assess the damages and plan the way forward. A number of ways in which the government will assist in the reconstruction of Potters Cay for these vendors has already been developed. The new stalls will be rebuilt in the manner projected for the revitalised Potters Cay site.
The Ministry has been working on the framework for a Public Private Partnership arrangement for the redevelopment and management of Potters Cay. In previous meetings, Minister Pintard has encouraged the vendors to form an organisation that could submit a proposal for the development and management of Fish Fry at Potters Cay. Work to improve the parking, security and lighting of the historic venue has been completed while other infrastructural work is expected to begin soon. No one was injured during the fire.