A FIRE razed a major shopping complex in Lae yesterday morning, The National reports.
The building at Air Corps Road near the Lae Main Market gutted a retail shop and food bar run by a Chinese and an alcohol distribution warehouse run by the landlord Titus Pamben, who also runs a bar known as “Two Eighty”.
The cause of the fire has not been established but the intensity threatened the neighbouring KK Kingston warehouse, Bank South Pacific, Big Rooster and InterOil service station.
Two fire trucks fought to put it out.
Members of the public, mainly street sellers and pickpockets, tried to seize the opportunity to help themselves but were held back by the police.
Opportunists tried to break into other shops within the vicinity but scuttled the idea when a group of heavily armed police arrived.
Vendors at the Lae main market were forced to leave early as city council officers closed the gates.
Major companies including Agmark, Orica PNG Ltd, TE PNG, PNG Oxygen, Papindo
headquarters and Seeto Kui, Super Value Shop, Mainland Plumbing, ANZ Bank, Niugini Electrical, Belltek Chemicals were placed on alert.