THE National Fire Authority is investigating the cause of a fire inside the Labasa Market yesterday morning.
Divisional fire officer north John Pillay said they were alerted by a vendor at about 7.30am who noticed smoke and flames coming out from two sacks of rice and haldi.
“This looks like a deliberate act and we are investigating details to help us establish the cause,” he said.
“It is good that the vendor noticed the smoke and flames just starting to come off the two sacks and attended to it first.
“The vendor got bottles of water and spilt it over the two sacks which stopped the fire from spreading.
“It may have been a small fire but it could have spread and damaged the market building,” Mr Pillay said.
Vendor, Abhay Chand said he had lost about $150 from the two burnt sacks.
“The market opened at 7am and my sister came in at 7.30am. She walked past my table and saw the flames and smoke coming out of the two sacks.
“Then she filled bottles of water and put the fire out which saved more damage for me otherwise I will struggle to look after my family. I am the sole breadwinner,” Mr Chand said.
He said the incident surprised him this morning as his table among other 50 tables was the only one attacked.