Ramon’s Village Resort’s hellacious night was still very fresh in every ones mind. The people gathering around the large wooden archway leading into the island resort weren’t there to enjoy the resort’s amenities. Instead, they were trying to get a glimpse at the destruction from last nights fiery inferno. There will be no guest checking in today, tomorrow or for that matter, a long while.
The devastation was very evident as we looked through from the street entrance to the beachfront perimeter. The photo shown right was once the maintenance facility and operations buildings. The fire started in the mid-south portion of the resort and fanned out from there. The cause was rumored to a couple who knocked over a candle in their suite. With no sprinkler system and constructed with palm thatch roofs and wooden framework, it didn’t take long for these indigenous elements to create a firestorm. The investigators were still looking at various sites of origin and possibilities.
Many local resorts in this part of the world are constructed with whatever Mother Nature has to offer. Relaxed and/or unregulated building codes and the lack of current technology can sometimes yield disastrous results. In this particular instance, everybody made it out with little to no injures. I call it a miracle.
The maintenance area, which was a part of the resort that was actually constructed with sheet metal suffered heavy damages. The smothering remains where the only evidence that a building once sat in the pile of ash (shown above).
The photo shown left (and during the fire below right) is what’s left of the beachfront open air restaurant. We were going to have our last breakfast on the island at this quaint little eatery. Looking beyond the unscathed BBQ grills and the burnt out wooden structures are what was left of the buildings that faced the street. The pool and court yard area were completely gone.
The photo shown right is looking into the south courtyard that use to be surrounded by suites. This is one of the areas that is being looked at as a possible starting point. During all these “Day after photos”, has anyone noticed anything peculiar? With the exception of a few brown spots on the trees in the once lush courtyard, all the vegetation seems unharmed…. The intensity of the flames seem to overlook the surrounding greenery.
As I mentioned in the previous Ramon’s Village article, we saved parts of the north end of the resort. As shown in the photo left and compared to the photo right, the resort still has something to build on. The surviving suites with their thatched roofs were doused with seawater, which kept the wave of flames at bay.
These last two articles have more than just words and photos in them. They possess something that you don’t normally experience on many, if any trips or vacations you have or will take. The turn of events made me feel like I did something good. I became part of a community that night which pulled together and fought against incredible odds. Seeing the buildings that still remained gave me and everyone involved a sense of accomplishment. After the August 27th devastation, Ramon’s Village reopened in late December 2013. They also added some previsions to defend against future catastrophes like the last one.
Author: Anthony Scopel
Photographer: Anthony & Maureen Scopel