Image: The Seminyak Café in front of Bintang Supermarket. Credit: FB: David Hazlewood.
The destruction of Bintang supermarket and neighbouring stores by fire had everyone in town in shock last week. While the cause of the fire still hasn’t been categorically confirmed, other points have come to light.
The Head of the Badung District Fire Brigade, I Wayan Wirya, who was at the scene during the fire last Thursday morning, said that the brigade had deployed a full team – every fire truck available.
“We mobilized all the fleet, 16 fire trucks and one rescue vehicle from Badung, and two fire trucks from Denpasar,” he said to Tribun Travel.
According to him, the blaze was so big that they had to be isolate it in order not to spread.
“We first isolated the fire so that it did not spread to neighbouring residences,” he said.
He admitted that officers had difficulty putting out fires because all buildings were locked.
“The roof had fallen in, so we do not dare to open the doors and we shot water from above. If we could open the doors from the beginning the fire would possibly not have been so big,” he said.
Luckily at around 4.35am heavy rain fell on the area, which helped reduce the flames.
Kuta Police Chief Teuku Ricki Fadlianshah accompanied by Kuta Criminal Investigation Unit Iptu I Putu Ika Prabawa monitored the cooling process by firefighters.
“The Bintang Supermarket and Seminyak Cafe fire destroyed the buildings and the items inside. In total there were 14 units destroyed,” Teuku Ricki said.
“The fire allegedly started from a hotspot in the pharmacy shop and then spread to other buildings,” said Teuku Ricki Fandlianshah.
Regarding the estimated total losses from the fire, Teuku Ricki could not say.
“The full losses cannot be interpreted considering that each store has not recorded their losses as yet,” he added.
Bintang supermarket Operations Manager, Agus Sanjaya explained that the supermarket stands on an area of about one hectare, inside the supermarket, there are nine tenants besides Bintang’s own management.
“For us, everything inside was destroyed,” said the manager.
Sanjaya estimated that the total losses from the fire for Bintang is more than Rp 40 billion.
“The total loss can be above Rp 40 billion, however we do have goods and building insurance,” he said.
Bintang supermarket in Seminyak has been around since 1996.
“There was no inkling or indication of anything untoward before the incident. In fact, we had just finished the Ondalan ceremonies for the full moon the day before,” Agus said
Bintang, he continued, employed 160 people and had a turnover of approximately Rp 700 million per day.
“70 percent of our customers are foreigners,” said Agus Sanjaya
Agus is sure that supermarket will rise again after all the fire business is settled. He was quoted elsewhere as saying it will take seven months to reconstruct.
“After this, in principle, we shall rise again and we will improve,” he said.