The convenience store, Vega Point, which has stood strong in Male’ for the last 40 years, burned down in a fire on early Wednesday, with MVR 3.7 million in merchandise.
The three-story Vega Point is located in the Raiyvilla Goalhi in the Galolhu district of Male’ City. The store is located on the ground floor, while the upper floors serve as a warehouse.
The fire, which broke out around 04:30 am on Wednesday, burned down the building, along with 15 motorbikes parked outside.
But it did not result in any injuries.
Opened in the early 1980s, Vega Point was one of the most popular convenience stores in Male’ at the time.
The store later expanded to a wholesale and retail business, importing some of its products directly from China.
The store’s owner, Ahmed Hussain does not know what caused the fire.
He said that the electricity works on the store were all above board, and that workers switch off the electricity, including for the refrigerators, when the store closes for the night.
“But if a fire does occur, there are many products that could serve as accelerants. For example, insect repellant sprays, and the gas in lighters. We had gas lighters stored here in cases. Those would catch fire,” he said.
Ahmed said that the building was constructed over 40 years ago.
He was unable to estimate the current value of the building, but said that about MVR 3.7 million in products had been stored there.
TWO DAYS TO EXPIRATION OF INSURANCE COVER
Ahmed said the fire broke out with just two days left until the insurance policy he took out for the store had been set to expire.
He said that he had taken out the policy because it has been a prerequisite for a bank loan he applied for.
He said that he did not get the loan, but decided not to cancel the insurance.
“This was just a great coincidence. I did not even realize. The insurance policy I took was for fire,” he said.
Ahmed had previously worked in the famous Luxury store, before deciding to venture out on his own, and start his own store, based on the same model. He had previously run other stores, but later chose to focus solely on Vega Point.
Ahmed remains resolute despite the unexpected loss, promising to start his business, again.