CHRISTMAS presents collected by a charity and thousands of books have been destroyed in a fire at a Footscray market.

Residents have been warned to stay indoors as firefighters work to extinguish the blaze at the Little Saigon Market.

Firefighters were called to the market about 6.05am after a fire had began in the coolroom of the two-storey building, reports Herald Sun.

MFB Assistant Chief Fire Officer Martin Baird said he believed the fire was caused by a refrigerator.

75 firefighters are tackling the blaze from outside the building due to concerns of internal walls collapsing.

About 6000 text books and Christmas presents collected by the Les Twentyman Foundation have been destroyed in the fire.

The books are part of the foundation’s back-to-school program, which has run for the past 26 years.

Les Twentyman said: “It’s not just a building that’s gone but people’s livelihood in a critical time.”

Such devastation at the time of year when everyone needs a little bit of hope.

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  • Such a loss at this time of year. I’m sure people will pull together and make sure no one goes without though. It’s the Aussie spirit


  • What a terrible thing to happen and so close to Christmas. I hope they were able to replace what was lost and still help everyone.


  • This was terrible news – but the Melbourne community got behind Les Twentymen’s foundation and replaced most of what was lost and donated enough money for more needy children to be helped this year.


  • This is so upsetting for all concerned.


  • How tragic ! And all gifts destroyed !!
    Hope many people and companies feel the urge to donate !


  • There has been so many tragic electrical fires recently. Somerimes I wonder if they miss compulsory testing and service.


  • This is very sad news indeed.


  • I saw this on the news. No time is a good time, but this is certainly a tragedy for the area. And all of the gifts gone too, such a shame. I hope some businesses come forward and replenish the gifts for the kids.


  • Oh no! :-(


  • That is sad – we always budget for some physical donations at Christmas – the people who donated must be sad.


  • It is very sad the items are gone but thankfully no lives were lost.


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