News about the fate of the Savalalo Flea Market spread as quickly as the fire ripped through the structure on social media last night.
It did as hundreds of onlookers quickly congregated nearby taking photos and videos on their phones and posting them on Facebook and other social media mediums.
As the firefighters were still battling the blaze, Samoans from all over the world were already paying tribute to a building that had been the meeting place for thousands over the years.
Based in Samoa, Twayne Laumua described the building as iconic on his Facebook page.
“So sad to see this happen to an iconic building in the heart of Apia,” he posted. “Spare a thought for the hard-working folk who put everything into their market stalls and shops.
“I spoke to a friend who rushed down to see if he could salvage anything from his mum’s shop inside the market. Unfortunately, the raging fire destroyed everything. We stood there looking at the smoldering rubble. I felt bad.
“Then he said: “We’ll bounce back.” Good on you mate. God bless you and your mum.”
Jerome Ielome said the news was extremely sad.
“The impact will be felt far, we have a couple of very good suppliers at this market who supply our shop in Melbourne,” he posted on Facebook.
“This Market is also more the market for tourists, so the impact on tourism will be huge. Very sad. I’m just lost for words and heart broken for Samoa.”
Helen Mariner Apineru shared Ielome’s grief.
“That’s sad, hope no one’s injured.”