The Emergency Situations Ministry of Kazakhstan has named the preliminary cause of the fire at Jupiter section of the Almaty flea market. Besides, the Ministry said that flea market guard reported the fire very late, Tengrinews
reports citing the press-service of Kazakhstan Emergencies Ministry.
"The most likely cause of the fire is ignition of polyvinylchloride wire insulation because of a short circuit and subsequent inflammation of the goods stored in boutiques. The investigation found no traces of petrol-containing liquids or self-igniting components in the fire area. However, one more investigation will be by the Almaty Forensic Investigation Institute of the Justice Ministry of Kazakhstan," the Emergency Ministry's representative said.
Besides, the Ministry said that market guard alerted the firefighting services only after the fire spread. “For 17 minutes the security personnel was trying to extinguish the flames on their own. During questioning the guards contracted to provide security services at Jupiter section of market said that they discovered the fire at 9:01 p.m. in the pavilion #48 of Sector #1, videos from the surveillance camera confirms it. The flea market security guards first tried to extinguish the fire on their own using fire extinguishers and one firehose fed from the fire hydrant located in the eastern part of Jupiter section of the market. The alerted the firefighting service only at 9:09 p.m. and the first firefighting brigade arrived to the accident site at 9:18 p.m.,” the Emergencies Ministry of Kazakhstan said.
“There was broken glass in front of pavilion #48 and its door was laying on the floor when the security personnel saw the fire. The damages were caused by a blowout of fire and smoke from the inside of the boutique. The blowout must have been caused by two fire extinguishers that were inside. They were found ruptured by the heat,” the Ministry added.
According to the R&D Institute for Fire Safety and Civil Defense, for OP-5 powder fire extinguisher to burst the surrounding temperature must exceed 487°С.
The fire at the flea market of Almaty happened on February 4. The fire area badly damaged by the fire is estimated at 400 square meter, but the overall affected area may be as large as 1500 square meters. 900 firefighters were involved in the quenching operation.
Before that Almaty flea market experienced massive fires twice in autumn 2013. In September 2013
the fire covered the area of 5000 sq.m.. And another big fire
at the market happened on November 17, 2013.