A shocked 59 year old Mrs Pogai Ropeti is one of more than 100 stall and shop owners who is devastated after the fire which completely destroyed Savalalo Market on Saturday evening.
“I didn’t want to go there and see for myself what was happening,” she said sadly. “I locked all of my stuff there as usual on Saturday afternoon and it was really sad when I heard that nothing was left after the fire, I just feel hopeless.”
Mrs Ropeti, who has been a stall owner for over 10 years sells ie toga (fine mats), handicrafts and siapo.
“It is like all of my family’s hopes for this year disappeared when I heard that the market has been turned into dust and ashes.” Of greater concern, she said, is the fact that the stall is her only source of income.
“The stall provides for our family and my children. It’s now time for the children to go back to school again and I don’t know what to do.” She also expressed sympathy for others whose lives are tied up with the market. “I believe that 99% of shop and stall owners lost everything in the fire.” “There’s no one to turn to at this time; it is really hard.
Assistant Fire Commissioner, Va'asiliega Ioane Iosefo confirmed yesterday that no one was injured.
“We did try our best to put out the fire out but sadly, all stalls, shops and belongings were destroyed. “We’re still investigating what caused the fire.” he said.