Millions of dollars in goods and equipment were destroyed last night (May 4th) by a fire which razed more than 30 stalls at Coronation Market, West Kingston.

PHOTOS: LIONEL ROOKWOOD

Coronation Market Burns Down in Downtown, Kingston

Coronation Market Burns in Downtown, Kingston

Millions of dollars in goods and equipment were destroyed last night (May 4th) by a fire which razed more than 30 stalls at , West .

Two firefighters were also injured as they suffered electric shock from several live power wires while they fought to put out the blaze.

Police said that about 5:00 pm, vendors saw smoke coming from the Chapel Lane end of the market facility and raised an alarm.

Four units, from Rollington Town, Trench Town and York Park, were used to bring the fire under control.

“Two of our men were shocked by loose electric wires while they were putting out the blaze,” a fireman said, while sighing with relief that their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

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As firemen and police worked to bring the blaze under control, vendors wept openly as they grappled with the sight of their goods being destroyed.

“Ah sleep mi a sleep when mi hear the calls for fire and mi jump up and see people a rush out,” said Damion Blackwood, a vendor who said that he lost everything.

“Mi say all now mi can’t believe it. All of mi goods, all of mi belongings destroyed,” said another vendor who had to be consoled by a friend as he watched firefighters carry out cooling down operations.

Coronation Market is viewed as the pivotal point of trade and commerce in the heart of Kingston. It was refurbished in 2011, after being partially burnt during the security operation into Tivoli Gardens in May 2010.

Police and soldiers had gone to the volatile community to extract then community don Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, who was wanted by the United States Government on drug-trafficking and gunrunning charges.

Coke, who ran sections of West Kingston like his own fiefdom, was later captured by local police, waived his right to an extradition hearing, and was sent away to the United States where he was found guilty of gun and drug-related charges and sent to prison to serve a 23-year sentence.

The 2010 fire had occurred at a time when vendors had been avoiding the market, after violence broke out in West Kingston.

 

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