Blaze Burns Mandalay Mall, Myanmar Police Sue Shop Owner

By Zarni Mann 20 January 2020

MANDALAY—Police have said they will open a lawsuit against the manager of a Mandalay shoe shop for poor electrical safety which allegedly caused a fire that burned down the first floor of the Skywalk Shopping Mall in Mandalay’s Yadanabon Market Complex on Saturday evening.

According to police, the fire began in a name-brand shoe shop on the first floor and consumed 125 of the 155 shops on the first floor.

“The fire from the name-brand shoe shop, apparently caused by an electrical spark, got out of control even though the mall security guards used fire extinguishers and water hoses. We are opening the case against the shop manager for poor electrical safety and the case is under investigation,” said Police Major Sai Htoo Hla, Mandalay District Police chief.

Two firemen were seriously injured while trying to enter the burning building on Saturday.

According to police, total losses from the fire total over 1 billion kyats (US$680,000).

On Monday, shops owners were allowed to enter the mall to remove any unburned stock and property.

Most of the shops on the burned first floor of the Skywalk Shopping Mall sell name-brand fashion products, including Timberland, Charles & Keith, Giordano, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

Stores, offices and tutoring centers in the rest of the five-floor mall, including the Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry, did not burn but police said the mall will be closed until there is an investigation of the building’s structural integrity.

In February 2006, a fired burned almost all of the Yadanabon Market Complex, including the Skywalk Shopping Mall at the northern end of the complex. The mall was rebuilt and reopened in March 2014.

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