NEWS

Suva Flea Market, Value City Blaze: Damage Estimate Millions, Kitchen Suspect

The contents in the Flea Market acted as accelerants. Many vendors have lost all their items, some incurred losses amounting to between $2000 and $5000. Cloth merchants, Value City, have estimated losses up to $600,000.
24 May 2020 10:14
Suva Flea Market, Value City Blaze: Damage Estimate Millions, Kitchen Suspect
Fire raging fiercely from the Value City complex as thick clouds of smoke tower above the capital city yesterday afternoon. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fire damages to the Suva Flea Market and Value City on Friday afternoon are estimated to run into millions.

It was a gallant effort by firefighters to ensure that the fire did not reach the huge fuel tanks in the nearby compound. The thick smoke emerging from the fire could be seen for miles.

The National Fire Authority, after initial examination, said it was highly possible that the fire started from a restaurant in the Flea Market.

The contents in the Flea Market acted as accelerants. Many vendors have lost all their items, some incurred losses amounting to between $2000 and $5000.

Cloth merchants, Value City, have estimated losses up to $600,000.

In a statement, the company said the 12 staff at that branch and the Flea Market vendors were safe and unhurt.

“We will relocate these staff members to other Value City branches. Management will be in discussion in the coming weeks, with a hope of opening another branch in the city,” the statement said.

“We thank the National Fire Authority, firefighters and Police for doing such a commendable job.”

Flea Market owner, Anthony Ah Koy said they would be assessing the damages and look at options, which may include rebuilding.

Flea Market stall owner, Vasiti Lawedua, 48, was lost for words as the stall was her only source of income.

Another stall owner, Inia Cawaki, said they were affected by the COVID-19, and now the fire had completely destroyed livelihoods.

Investigations into the fire continue.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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