A massive fire broke out at a warehouse in Malé on Monday, destroying MVR40million (US$2.6million) worth goods, injuring two fire-fighters and spreading to five other buildings in the vicinity before it was put out.
The fire started at 12.30 pm in Machangoalhi ward and was brought under control by mid-afternoon.
The four-story building, made of steel pipes and tin, was destroyed.
No residents were injured.
A spokesman for the Maldives National Defence Forces said that the two injured fire-fighters were treated at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, and one of the men will be flown abroad for treatment.
While the extent of their injuries is unclear, local journalists present at the spot reported that one of the soldiers was hit by a glass pane that fell from the burning building.
Residents of four buildings in the neighbourhood had to be evacuated.
The Maldives Disaster Management Centre said that 23 of those displaced will be provided food, shelter and security. It also announced plans to rent a building to accommodate those whose houses have been rendered inhabitable.
“We’re currently coordinating with our people on the scene to check whether those buildings can be given back [to the residents],” said an NDMC official. “If not, we’ll be sending them to temporary shelters.”
Defence Minister Adam Shareef, who was overseeing the fire-control operations, said that those displaced will be provided emergency aid. He added that the affected residents in the neighbourhood will be given easy access to housing loans if necessary.
The warehouse owners The Brotherhood Group had been using the premises to store cosmetics, garments, electronic appliances and household equipment.
An official of the company, which runs eight shops in Malé, told Mihaaru that the building was insured.
Officials are yet to assess the damage caused to the neighbouring buildings.
The fire at the Brotherhood warehouse is the third major fire this year.
More than 70 people were displaced by a massive fire that broke out at the Coastline Hardware store in Malé. The fire destroyed the hardware store and damaged three buildings nearby.
In January, a fire that broke out at an electronics shop spread to a warehouse owned by a hardware store, destroying goods worth millions of rufiyaa.
In March last year, a fire that broke out at a warehouse owned by Lily International, displacing more than a hundred people.
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