Following demolition of the remains of the building, a container was moved to the site, and recently began operating as a store.
Due to personal reasons Tex Tangimetua said he was unavailable to comment on the new arrangement at Betela or his future plans for the site, but in the week or so since it opened, the container store appears to have done a steady trade, selling a variety of goods.
Tex Mart was the second Arorangi store to be destroyed by fire in June. The equally iconic Friendly Mart was burned out in a fire on the night of the Cook Islands general election, June 14.
CINews’ requests for comment from owner Doreen Boggs as to the store’s future went unanswered, but an appeal was launched on Facebook to assist her and the workers who lost their jobs.
Almost two months later the store, which was gutted inside, is still surrounded by police tape. CINews understands that insurance investigators from New Zealand who came to Rarotonga to investigate the Friendly Mart fire, also looked into the Tex Mart blaze.
In the early hours of Monday, July 9, a third business incorporating the word “Mart” was also destroyed by fire. The large Raromart Megastore, which contained a large amount of plastic and ceramic products and had also recently taken delivery of a large shipment of paint, was completely wrecked in the blaze, which has been investigated by local and New Zealand fire experts.
Around 12 people lost their jobs as a result of the fire, but owner Don Carlaw was quick to re-stablish the business, opening a new store with a more limited range of goods near CIPS/Jaycar Electronics.
He said the Raromart Megastore would be rebuilt, but the project would take some time.
Police have not so far released information on the causes of any of the three fires.