Vendors suffer losses in fire

Market vendor Ashok Kumar with his wife Sabila Devi shows the damages done after the fire at Sigatoka market yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

VENDORS at the Sigatoka market are reeling from shock after a fire broke out at the market on Wednesday night. One of the affected vendors Ashok Kumar said he suffered damage of up to $2000.

“We have nothing left to sell because our produce has been spoilt by the fire and flames,” he said.

“We kept fruits, honey, coconut oil, roasted peanut and everything is spoilt, there is nothing fit to sell. The fire started from the canteen but a lot of people have been fortunate because they didn’t suffer damage.”

Another vendor Deo Raj said the event had taken the vendors by surprise.

“We didn’t expect this to happen,” he said.

Mr Raj added they were now waiting on authorities to relay how the fire started and whether any assistance would be rendered to those who suffered losses.

National Fire Authority confirmed the incident.

NFA chief fire officer Qionilau Moceitai said the Sigatoka Fire Station officers received a call at 10.34pm.

He said by 10.36pm when the officers arrived at the scene of the fire, the Friendly Investment Kiosk was fully engulfed in flames.

He said investigations into the incident continue.

Meanwhile, Mr Moceitai reiterated the call that fire safety was everyone’s responsibility.

This is after the NFA recorded two other incidents of fire in Labasa and Nausori.

He said fire safety precautions should be strictly adhered to at all times. to avoid unnecessary fire related damages to properties.

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