On Saturday morning at approximately 3:30am, the Dongdok campus market at the National University of Laos (NUOL) was engulfed in flames.
According to initial reports from the Industry and Commerce Office in Xaythany district, the inferno is believed to have originated from a jewelry repair shop, setting 158 shops and 15 stalls ablaze causing an estimated 373 billion kip in damage.
Seven fire engines from Xaythany district and central Vientiane, attempted to extinguish the flames and took troops about two hours to gain control of the blaze.
Vendors who lost goods and other property are reporting their losses to the district Industry and Commerce Office, and the office will reassess the extent of the damage after all the vendors have registered their deficits.
With many stalls selling clothing, shoes, mobile phones and other goods, the Industry and Commerce Office intends to help vendors whose products were incinerated by the fire.
Fortunately, not all of the shops were consumed by flames, the campus market is covered by four large metal roofs. Three were completely destroyed but one roof was only partially damaged.
Security officials from Xaythany district, along with officials from Dongdok village, NUOL and the Dongdok campus market, are protecting what remains of the market and are keeping guard over those shops that are still intact.
Although, no official announcement has been made on what sparked the fire, many markets and buildings have repeatedly fallen victim to the jumbled electrical power lines that hover just above the streets of Vientiane. Xaythany district’s electricity sector plans to replace the electricity system at the market.