Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Canberra (VNA) –
Fire broke out at the Little Saigon Market of Vietnamese expats in Footscray, west Melbourne, Australia, on early December 13, leaving no casualty but damaging assets valued at about 12 million AUD.

The fire was supposed to start from a cool room in the two-storey building, but the exact cause remains unknown.

Seventy-five firefighters were deployed to the scene.

The blaze was put under control at noon after destroying most of the market. The office of Les Twentyman Foundation, a charity for disadvantaged youths, was burned to the ground with over 6,000 books, clothes and Christmas gifts for homeless children inside.

The market hosted 25 small businesses run by Vietnamese expatriates and was among the most popular shopping places for the community in Melbourne. There are approximately 100,000 Vietnamese living in the capital city of Victoria State.

According to Tran Ba Phuc, head of the Vietnamese business association in Melbourne, two owners of the Little Saigon Market will have their rebuilding costs fully covered by insurance.

However, many shop owners had stocked a large amount of goods for the upcoming holiday season, but only have insurance for a small part of their business. Their sources of livelihood have been destroyed with the flame.

The association is helping them with legal consultation to receive insurance payments as soon as possible.-VNA