Sunday morning's fire at the San Cosme market. Sunday morning's fire at the market in Cuauhtémoc.

Fire damages 188 stands at Mexico City’s San Cosme market

The damage has closed the market during the busy holiday season

A fire on Sunday in Mexico City’s San Cosme market left 188 stands damaged and the entire market closed for the holiday season.

The cause of the fire, which started around 5:30am, is unknown, but a short circuit is believed to have been the culprit.

Firefighters from five different boroughs were able to put the fire out by 8:00am, but not before it had burned 1,000 square meters of the market.

Over 150 residents in neighboring houses and apartments were forced to evacuate their homes while police set up a safety perimeter around a gas station adjacent to the market.

No deaths or injuries have been reported, but the vendors now find themselves in a difficult situation during one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year.

To offset the hardship, Economic Development Secretary Fadlala Akabani Hneide requested that the Labor Secretariat provide the vendors with unemployment benefits and relocate them to the street to the west of the market to mitigate the loss of  December sales.

Monthly unemployment benefits of 2,500 pesos (US $132) will be disbursed to all 252 of the market vendors for six months.

The Cuauhtémoc borough, in which the market is located, will provide tarps for the temporary street stalls and will have discussions with neighboring residents to request that they support the provisional solution.

Sources: El Financiero (sp), El Universal (sp)

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