Fruit stalls and textile shops were among those destroyed in the fire which was believed to have been caused by an electrical short-circuit.
The fire spread rapidly across the temporary shelters as a result of strong winds experienced in the area at the time and this made it difficult for the authorities to bring the fire under control.
The stores were set up following the end of the war in 2009 and the owners were just getting back on their feet when the fire destroyed all that they had.
The store owners had in the past made an appeal for a permanent structure to be erected for the stores to operate but the appeal fell in deaf ears. (Colombo Gazette)