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Investigation launched after devastating fire at Warsaw shopping center

13.05.2024 19:00
The Warsaw-Praga District Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into a massive blaze that engulfed the Marywilska 44 shopping center, causing extensive damage and potentially threatening lives.
Photo:PAP/Leszek Szymański

Prosecutor Norbert Woliński announced the inquiry into the incident, which is suspected to have started under undetermined circumstances early Sunday morning, media have reported.

The blaze, which began shortly after 3 a.m., rapidly spread throughout the market hall, housing over 1,400 stores and service outlets. As the fire raged, the Government Security Center issued urgent alerts, urging residents to avoid the area, remain indoors, and keep windows closed to avoid smoke inhalation.

The firefighting effort was massive, involving dozens of units, including specialized teams from the Chemical and Ecological Rescue Group. By Monday, operations had shifted towards monitoring and securing the site, with six units still active at the scene.

The economic impact of the fire is severe, with damages to the property and tenant businesses currently estimated to exceed PLN 1 million, and the number of people whose property was damaged is estimated in thousands, according to media. The shopping complex, a hub of activity with a diverse mix of Polish, Vietnamese, and Turkish entrepreneurs, has been a key commercial point in the capital.

A spokesman for the Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection, Maciej Karczyński, said on Monday that environmental inspectors from Warsaw will take soil and water samples from the site of the fire to check for contamination.

In response to the disaster, Mazovian Voivode Mariusz Frankowski has indicated that decisions regarding emergency support and further actions for the center's tenants will be made soon.

Meanwhile, the management of the shopping center has declared plans to rebuild the site.


Source: IAR, PAP