CAUSE OF FISH MARKET FIRE UNDER PROBE
Fire tore through seven buildings at popular 80-year-old Tsukiji fish market
U.S. President Donald Trump shops and restaurants in seven buildings were destroyed, a Tokyo Fire Department spokesman said.
“At this point, we can’t say anything about the cause. It’s still under investigation. There’s no information indicating arson, but again, it’s still too early to say.”
Media reports said the fire appeared to originate in a threestorey building and that people had reported smelling smoke prior to the fire’s start in Tsukiji’s “outer” market, an area packed with informal restaurants where tourists can tuck into fresh seafood and sushi.
Most establishments in the area, which bustles with customers during the morning and early afternoon, had closed for the day when the fire began.
The Tsukiji “inner” market, where most seafood wholesalers are located and world-famous tuna auctions are carried out at dawn, was not affected.
In June, Tokyo’s governor announced a long-delayed plan to move Tsukiji from its site on some of the city’s most prime real estate to a man-made island with contaminated soil. The outer market is not scheduled to move.
Governor Yuriko Koike had said the market’s age and vulnerability to a big earthquake meant it had to be rebuilt.
At the fire’s peak, some 66 fire trucks and scores of firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze, their efforts hampered by narrow streets and tightly-packed buildings. The fire was brought under control around midnight and extinguish yesterday morning.
Among the places destroyed was a ramen shop extremely popular with tourists, media said.
“The second floor is a total loss, and everything on the first floor was completely soaked,” a shop owner told NHK public broadcaster. Reuters
Firefighters battling the blaze at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo on Thursday.