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Fire at First Citizens Bank

By Carla Bridglal Express House

A fire at First Citizens' San Juan Branch this morning was quickly extinguished by fire officers from the San Juan Fire Station. The bank remains closed for the rest of today as officials continue investigations into what caused the blaze.

First Citizens group corporate communications manager Dexter Charles in a telephone interview this morning told the Express it was a small fire and damage from the flames was "not significant". The main issue, he said was water and smoke damage.

Charles said the fire was first discovered about 7 a.m. The assistant manager and one other staff member were in the building, he said, and alerted the Fire Services.

When fire officers arrived, they had to break several glass panes at the bank. The Express was informed by fire officials that the fire ignited between two cubicles, but the reason is still to be determined.

He said First Citizens had advised the Central Bank of its intention to close the branch today, and by late afternoon will determine whether or not to open tomorrow.

First Citizens has advised customers via a media release to use any of the state-owned bank's other branches. The nearest branches to San Juan are in Tunapuna and Independence Square, Port of Spain.

Charles said the San Juan staff would be reassigned to other branches to deal with any influx of customers.

- reporting by Gyasi Gonsales
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