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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Villaggio fire update: Shopkeepers assess damage; many will ‘need to destroy everything’

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The deadly fire that took place at Villaggio two weeks ago has damaged the entire mall and could take up to two months to repair, one employee told Doha News.

Today was the first day select employees were allowed to enter the mall to collect their belongings. Insurers were also allowed in to estimate the cost exacted by the fire.

Though it is thought to have originated at the Nike shop near the food court, even shops on the far side of the mall, including Virgin Megastore, were affected by the smoke damage, the employee said.

Water damage from the sprinklers (not all malfunctioned) as well as a combination of ash and black dust have also affected stock, causing untold losses for many shops.

The clothing shops, etc. will need to destroy everything. The problem with the shops at Villaggio is that they are open at the ceilings so that’s why the smoke carried all through the mall.

Meanwhile, many employees who were not transferred to other store locations remain on paid leave, though those who worked on commission are making less than usual.

Qatar has yet to announce the official cause of the fire or how long Villaggio will be closed, but it is moving to tighten fire safety regulations across the country, especially in nurseries.

Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

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