A RAGING inferno ripped through a warehouse of retail giants Courts Fiji Limited in Lautoka yesterday forcing staff and nearby industrial workers to scramble to safety.
The fire which started about 10am took more than an hour for firefighters to contain as thick black smoke made it impossible for the officers to move towards the burning building.
The Fiji Times was at the scene on Daniva St near Marine Drive where hundreds of people gathered to witness the fire destroy hundreds of items.
Plumes of black smoke billowed out of the building and quickly covered most parts of the main business district area of Lautoka.
Explosions and shattering glass could be heard as gas cylinders succumbed to hot flames while fire and police authorities worked to fight the blaze.
Staff of nearby buildings, including the Blue Lagoon office and Punjas Fiji Limited, were told to evacuate around 11.30am as a slight breeze fuelled the fire posing further danger to infrastructure.