Thandwe: A fire that broke out in Myoma Market in Thandwe in southeastern Arakan State in the early morning on 11 February gutted over 740 stores in the market, said an official of the local fire service.
“According our current list, over 740 stores in the market were completely destroyed in the fire, but we have yet to collect the details of the losses and at the moment it is difficult for us to tell or estimate the details and value of losses in the market fire,” said the official.
A local woman who witnessed the incident said the fire started around 5 am and died out at 7:45 am after it had torn through all the shops in the market.
“The blazes of the fire were very fierce. The fire servicemen together with shop owners and civilians living nearly the market made all out efforts to put out the flames, but it eventually died out after burning all the shops in the market,” said the woman.
She added that the market is the largest in the town and the losses would be very high.
“Everyone in the town is sorry about the market fire and I do not know what to say to the shop owners of the market who are now in deep sorrow at their losses. I have seen some of them were weeping and running here and there in the streets after the fire,” said the woman.
A town elder said the fire gutted the whole market because of the lack of a modern fire defense system, sufficient fire engines, or skilled servicemen, besides the civilians’ negligence or lack of preparedness for the fire in the town.
He added the town’s residents are also troubled because the market is the town’s largest and the prices of commodities have jumped after the market was lost to the fire.
This is the second largest fire to hit a market in Arakan State in three months, after a fire gutted 567 shops in the main market in Minbya and caused losses of an estimated thousand million kyat on 12 November.