The terrible fire at the Jingshen department store in Jianning, Nanjing on the evening of October 29 has caused enormous damage to small businesses caught by the flames.

The Weibo report by the “Nanjing Fire Department” said that the fire that broke out at the Jinsheng department store was extinguished at dawn on October 30. The fire spread very quickly because many items were made from flammable materials. The cause of the fire is still unclear. the group of owners has not made any official announcement about the amount of damage.

Photos after the fire show that all that’s left is just a pile of rubble.

Jinsheng Department Store was the oldest and largest department store in Nanjing. Its had a great reputation.

According to the official website of Jinsheng Group, the main building of the Jinsheng Department Store central store has a total of 5 floors and nearly 1,000 independent stores, the main building includes 30 categories and more than 50,000 types of items.

Ms. Shao (pseudonym), the owner of the gym on the top floor, told Epoch Times on November 1 that when she saw the smoke, she immediately ran out with the staff. “There was no news of an evacuation at the time; we found out about (the fire) ourselves.” She added that her business lost about $5 million.

The “Hangzhou Daily” reported on October 30 that Li, a citizen of Nanjing, said, “A wedding goods wholesaler has suffered a heavy loss, and the 3,000 square meter (33,000 square ft) shop on the 5th floor has been completely burned down… Many shop owners are worried.”

Wang, the owner of a store called “Fu Wandai Jewelry” told the Daily Economic News that the gold and silver jewelry in the store is worth about 3 million yuan ($412,000). Although, on the morning of October 30, she was still not allowed to go into the store to clean up important items.

Li said that the mall has insurance, but the merchants do not. Any compensation for merchants has not been announced yet.

The Epoch Times China reports that traders have been told to fill out a loss list to submit to Jingshen Group. However, traders are not optimistic because this group is currently in decline due to many financial lawsuits.

The group’s limited capital makes the merchants of these burned-out stores have little hope.

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