Tarn-et-Garonne: one year after the fire of the shops, the anger of the mayor of Lamagistère

the essential
It’s a wound that won’t heal. Destroyed on April 21, 2021, the commercial complex still cannot begin its reconstruction. The mayor of Lamagistère Bruno Dousson deplores the slowness of insurance.

Not happy the mayor of Lamagistère, Bruno Dusson. In question: the spectacular fire of the shopping center. On April 21, 2021, the complex comprising a pharmacy, a hairdressing salon, a butcher’s shop and a beauty salon caught fire. It was 10:30 p.m. In a few hours, the four businesses in the grip of the flames were completely devastated. The next day, the small commercial center built two years earlier by the town offered only a spectacle of desolation to the 1,200 inhabitants of the town. No more roof, only the front walls were still standing and mountains of rubble.
A year later, this sad decor has not changed. Still no work. The shopping center still imposes its charred skeleton on passers-by. The pharmacy and the hairdressing salon have taken refuge in modular prefabs installed on land located just opposite the site of the disaster, land that the municipality has cleared and serviced. For her part, the beautician has set up a temporary living room in the village. While the butcher is now at the head of a new butchery, in Moissac, a distance of 25 km. In Lamagistère, the young craftsman maintains a truck tour.
On the investigation side, the case is closed by the gendarmerie. Investigators have not found any criminal origin at the start of the fire. “Everyone is pretty much in agreement that the fire is of electrical origin and that it broke out at the butcher’s”, specifies the city councilor of Lamagistère.

A letter to Minister Bruno Le Maire

From now on, the ball is in the only camp of the experts and the insurances. And it’s not easy. Because in this case, several insurers are around the table and are already starting to tear themselves apart on the exact origin of the fire.
“I agree that the insurance companies can do their job normally. But it shouldn’t drag on too long either… There, I see, obviously, that many are playing for time… that the case is getting bogged down, ”deplores Bruno Dousson.
At the mere mention of this situation, concern can be read on the face of the mayor of Lamagistère. “This shopping center that the municipality created three years ago worked beyond all our expectations. This is a project that cost us 800,000 euros. It was a great success. In Lamagistère, 60% of the population is over 60 years old. Many people do their shopping in the village. We have also created 13 jobs with this centre. If the reconstruction is still slow, I fear that the affected traders will end up throwing in the towel…”
Faced with the iron pot, Bruno Dousson is pleased to be able to count on rare support. MP for the 2nd constituency Sylvia Pinel and former minister Jean-Michel Baylet alerted Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery. They ask “that a benevolent examination can be given to this dossier on the insurance aspect, and that financial aid can be quickly allocated to this municipality which aspires to only one thing, to turn the page on this drama and rebuild this essential project for its dynamism. Another letter was also sent to the insurance mediator.
In her temporary pharmacy, made up of 14 modular boxes, Marie François wants to “look ahead. It took me six months before I could reopen under these conditions. During this time, the employees were on partial unemployment. There, everyone went back to work on October 1. But the pharmacist admits that, sometimes, “my arms drop out. We try to move forward, but, opposite, it does not move, we see only misery before our eyes. The other day, an expert nevertheless requested that a temporary roof be installed on the devastated premises of the butcher’s shop, when it has been open to all winds and all rains for almost a year. You had to dare…”

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