A major fire broke out, on Saturday, at Helwan’s Toshka Market in Greater Cairo although no casualties were reported, according to Egypt’s civil protection authority
The authority directed 15 fire engines to the market as part of efforts to contain and prevent the fire from spreading to neighbouring areas and homes.
Primary investigations suggest the cause of the fire, which has led to financial losses estimated at millions of Egyptian pounds, was an electrical short circuit.
Eye witnesses, however, said the fire started in a public rubbish bin, and extended to a neighbouring shop inside the market.
Shops at the market, which is well-known for providing commercial space to street vendors, were significantly damaged in the fire. Plumes of smoke covered the sky over the area, causing panic among nearby residents.
Civil protection personnel moved to quickly put out the flames, which spread extensively due to the presence of large amounts of flammable materials.
Major-General Khaled Shehata, Head of the Helwan district, said that the Toshka market fire destroyed over 500 shops, without causing any injuries. Shehata confirmed that the fire was caused by a short circuit.