Major fire breaks out at secondhand market in Male’ City

Fire breaks out at secondhand market, Neelan Fihaara, in Male' City on January 9, 2023. (Photo/MNDF)

A major fire broke out at the largest secondhand market in Male’ City, Neelan Fihaara, on Monday morning.

The fire broke at approximately 5:30am early Monday morning and was controlled by 7:30am through a collaborative effort of Maldives Police Service, Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and the public. However, the area which comprises of a large number of residential homes and several schools remains engulfed in smoke. 

The fire also spread to an accommodation block of Male’ City Council staff, which had completely destroyed in the incident. None of the staff residing at the accommodation block was injured in the fire.

Male’ City Council reported that the accommodation block housed 166 staff. They have all been moved from the area to Imaadhudhin School where they await relief aid from authorities.

Male' City Council staff residing at accommodation block destroyed by fire at Imaadhudhin School on January 9, 2023. (Photo/Male' City Council)

Those residing in the area have been instructed to stay away from the smoke. Wearing masks have been advised alongside seeking medical help if experiencing symptoms such as breathing difficulties and dizziness. Morning session of Izzudheen School and Villa International High School in the vicinity of the fire has been delayed while the morning session of Imaadhudhin School has been canceled. 

Smoke engulfs vicinity as fire breaks out at secondhand market, Neelan Fihaara, in Male' City on January 9, 2023. (Photo/MNDF)

Two major fires broke out at Neelan Fihaara in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Both incidents were suspected to be arson.