TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A 24 hour hypermarket in Tainan’s North District caught fire early in the morning Thursday, Feb. 28, gutting the entire structure.
The fire began around 5:30 a.m., and the few employees on sight quickly evacuated when they realized the danger. There have been no reported injuries.
According to witnesses the fire spread very quickly. A man operating a breakfast stall across the street said that, at 5:30 a.m., he noticed staff fleeing the hypermarket, before realizing there was smoke coming from the market.
Within five minutes, flames were visible throughout the structure.
According to the local Fire Department, the fire began in the interior of the hypermarket, and also partially affected an open air vegetable market area adjacent to the building.
When the first responders arrived to assess the situation, the fire had grown too large to extinguish with the equipment at hand, forcing the department to call for additional support.
UDN reports that flammable decorations and furnishings contributed to the quick spread of the fire. The fire burned for roughly one hour, destroying everything but the iron sheet walls and roofing.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.