Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Ho Minh Tuan presents gifts to the victims of a market fire in Cheb city last year(Photo: VNA)

The blaze broke out at the Asia Dragon Shopping Centre in Cheb city in November 2017, burning to the ground 40 stalls run by 12 Vietnamese families. Damage was calculated to reach CZK40 million (USD1.76 million). The 20-year-old shopping centre hosts 300 stalls operated by 200 businesses, of whom 98 percent are Vietnamese expatriates.

Ambassador Tuan met with the 12 families and inquired their lives after the fire.

He requested the Asia Dragon board of directors and head of the association of Vietnamese people in Cheb to support the victims, helping them to have a warm Lunar New Year (Tet) celebration and soon repair the burned section of the centre.

Doan Thach Cuong, Deputy Head of the Association of Vietnamese people in Cheb and deputy general director of Asia Dragon, said the centre will not hold a grand Tet celebration as usual this year but try its best to assist the victims.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency, Mr Cuong said Asia Dragon is working with the local administration to quickly rebuild the 40 stalls with expectation that these families can resume their business by the end of April or in early May.

Donations for the victims have to date exceeded CKZ5 million (USD220,000), he said, adding that the sum will be distributed to the affected families./.