Thu, 03 Jul 2003

Cause of Cikokol fire unknown

TANGERANG: Tangerang Police are still trying to determine the cause of a fire that rampaged a major vegetable market in Cikokol, Tangerang, on Tuesday.

"Our officers are currently investigating what may have caused the fire. We still cannot identify whether the fire was caused by a short circuit, sabotage or something else," Tangerang Police chief Adj. Comr. Hari Abimanyu told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The blaze, which started at about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, destroyed more than 100 kiosks inside the market. The crews from seven fire trucks were finally able to put out the fire at about 9:30 p.m.

There have been rumors that the fire was deliberately started after the Tangerang city administration mentioned it would build a shopping center where Cikokol market stands.

The rumors where given weight after the city administration built an alternative market in Tanah Tinggi in Tangerang to replace Cikokol market.

However, most sellers were reluctant to move to Tanah Tinggi due to the high rent charged.--JP