The military’s fire and rescue service on Tuesday afternoon put out a fire that broke out on the seventh-floor terrace of the Sosun Flower house in the Henveiru ward of Malé.
According to the Maldives National Defence Force, the fire was reported at 4:56 pm and firefighters extinguished the flames in less than half an hour.
No one was injured in the fire. The residents of the building did not require temporary shelter as the fire was contained to the vacant terrace.
Preliminary findings suggest that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit, the MNDF said, after which the flames caught on a pile of wood kept on the terrace.
Prior to yesterday’s incident, three major fire incidents have occurred in the densely packed capital island in 2016.
More than 70 people were displaced by a massive fire that broke out at the Coastline Hardware store in April. The fire destroyed the hardware store and damaged several nearby buildings.
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.
More recently, a warehouse fire destroyed MVR40 million (US$2.6million) worth of goods, injured two firefighters and displaced 23 people in late November.
In the wake of the latest warehouse fire, the MNDF launched an operation to inspect warehouses, workshops and cafés in Malé.
Defence Minister Adam Shareef Umar told the press last week that new rules for warehouse storage will be introduced in January, after which businesses would have three months to ensure compliance with fire safety standards.
Of the 744 places inspected as of last week, Shareef said 75 percent were uninsured.
Briefing the press about the inspections earlier this month, Abdulla Zuhury, commander of the military’s fire and rescue service, said that fire extinguishing equipment was expired in many warehouses and cafés.
Several premises completely lacked the facilities to put out a fire, he noted.
“And in some warehouses, chemicals that should be stored separately were kept together with other items,” he said.