Burma

Fire Breaks Out at an Electronics Shop in Downtown Rangoon

By Naomi Gingold 19 October 2013

RANGOON —  A fire broke out at a large electronics store on Pansodan Road, one of the main thoroughfares in downtown Rangoon, Friday night.

Many in the city, jittery over a recent spate of unexplained bombings in the country, worried that the incident was the result of yet another small explosion.  However according to a statement released by the local fire department, cardboard packaging placed too close to light bulbs ignited, causing the fire.

The blaze, which started around 8 pm, was put out relatively quickly, but firefighters continued to battle large billows of smoke gusting from the closed ‘Glamourous’ electronics shop for a few hours after.

2 firefighters on the balcony above the store used long harpoon-like poles to tear at the lights and signage on the storefront, whose wiring was blamed for the continuing smoke.

The chaotic street was thronged with bystanders and more than 7 fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.

According to Aung Min Min, a city officer with Myanmar Red Cross, 3 people were injured, but none severely.  2 were taken to Rangoon General Hospital with complications from smoke inhalation and one with minor burns from the fire.  One was a fireman.

The chemical smell of melting plastic lingered in the air long after the fire had been extinguished, and a portion of the road remained closed to traffic as cleanup continued past midnight.

Damages were estimated to be more than $220,000.

Wanna contributed reporting.

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