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Jakarta Post

Fire guts thousands of stalls at Surakarta's biggest traditional market

  • Ganug Nugroho Adi

    The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java   /   Wed, October 31, 2018   /   09:14 am
Fire guts thousands of stalls at Surakarta's biggest traditional market Fire guts thousands of kiosks in Legi Market in Surakarta, Central Java on Monday. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

A fire broke out at Legi Traditional Market in Surakarta, Central Java, on Monday, destroying at least 1,500 stalls. According to one of the vendors, the fire was first detected on top of the roof at 4.45 p.m., and spread quickly throughout the building. 

Eight fire trucks were deployed to deal with the fire, which was not brought under control until early on Tuesday. 

“In several spots, the fire could not be easily extinguished. The fire trucks could not reach the back of the building because they were hampered by a narrow alley and debris from the building,” said Surakarta Fire and Rescue Agency head Gatot Soetanto. 

Fire crews were also hindered by onlookers who loitered around to witness the fire.

Suharno, a vendor whose stall was in the market’s yard, said he only saw a small fire on Monday afternoon. “The fire grew bigger in less than 10 minutes,” Suharno said.

Another vendor, Heru Pambudi, revealed that the fire came from one of the stalls on the second floor of the market building. He suspected that the fire spread quickly because most of the stalls on the floor sold inflammable items such as dried food, instant noodles, kitchen utensils and spices.

Since the fire, vendors have set up in the yard and around the market on tarpaulins.

Legi Traditional Market is one of the biggest markets in Surakarta, with 3,500 sellers conducting their business in and around the market building. Some 1,700 of the stalls were located inside the building. 

Over the years there have been demands for the local administration to revitalize the market. However, the administration was unable to find an alternative location for the vendors.

“Surakarta administration is still looking for a temporary location for the market,” said Surakarta Trade Agency head Subagyo.  (dpk)