The famous Villagio shopping mall is opened after a huge fire in a day care took the lives of 19 people; most of them were children back in 28th of May. This fire was the biggest in years and the most difficult to the civil defense because of the location of the fire and the lack of security and safety measures.
This fire laid the eyes on the security and safety issues in all public places, especially shopping malls. That’s why another big shopping mall was closed for a while, and some other public places.
The fire caused a lawsuit that is still pending investigation and caused the arrest of the mall’s manager and the day care’s owner.
Today, Thursday, September 20th the big mall is finally reopened. The mall is opened from Zara shop, a few shops away from where the blaze took place till the cinemas. And from Go Sport which was right next to the day care till the food court and the playground.
The part from gate 3 to gate 4 where the fire took place is totally closed.
A new security task force is now inside the mall, called Villagio security.
I spoke to one of them; he said that they work side by side with G4S, the usual security forces. “The closed part will take a long time to reopen, a year maybe,” a Villagio security guard said.
“Nothing changed in the undamaged sector,” he added. All the changes are in the safety and security measures, the obvious changes are the fire exists; they are guarded by security to ease the evacuation in case of a fire.
Most of the shops are not opened yet, they are doing clean ups from the smoke, but everything will be ready in the next few days, according to shop employees.
Every shop had a paper on its window saying what the shop’s maintenance, along with few notes of rules such as, having a fire extinguisher, only use heavy machines at night till 8 AM and many other rules made by the mall’s management.
The food court wasn’t open, most of the restaurants are also cleaning up and getting ready, however the cinema is already offering tickets for today.
Pictures and videos are not allowed and permissions are needed from the mall’s management.
The atmosphere was a bit tense, security was doubled maybe tripled on every entrance and emergency exits. Management officials were around the mall, which refused to give any statements.
Many visitors were looking around to see what’s new with the mall and see what the fire did to the buildings. Most of them were talking about the fire.