A large fire burned down Pho Hien Market on the evening of March 19 causing estimated damages of VND100 billion.
Ngo Van Trung, a resident in the area, said many neighbours saw the fire at around 8pm. “People tried to put it out, called firefighters and asked power company to shutdown the electricity. But the fire just got bigger.
The fire burnt down Pho Hien Market
Worried about their inventory, dozens of traders gathered outside while the fire overcame the whole 29,000 square of metres of the market. Despite the best efforts of more than 10 firefighting trucks, it was not put out until 1am. The police of Hung Yen Province had to ask for help from firefighters in Hanoi, Ha Nam and Hai Duong.
Pho Hien Market was recently upgraded, with a total investment of VND300 billion and put into operation again in December 2013. Many people said that firefighters arrived too late and that fire hydrants did not have water.
Fire hydrants run out of water
Dang Van Thien, the owner of a textile stall, said, “Everything was normal when I left at 6pm. When I heard about the fire, I came immediately, but saw no fire trucks. I tried to use two fire extinguishers that were inside the market but nothing came out. We tried the fire hydrants nearby but they didn’t work either.”
Thien said that the security guards were not vigilant enough because they did not detect the fire in time.
A trader trying to rescue some documents after the fire
Another trader, Nguyen Thi Bich, said the the textile section was engulfed in flames by the time she arrived. She and her daughter-in-law had two booths. Both were burnt down. “I don’t know to get through the next days. We all depended on those booths.”
Deputy head of the police force of Hung Yen Province Dao Huu Liem said the firefighters received news of the fire at around 9:25pm and deployed 6 trucks to the scene quickly, but 30 minutes later 18 fire trucks from other provinces also arrived. “We did everything we could have. Any criticism from people will be taken into consideration,” he said.