The largest market in the Paraguayan capital was spared from total destruction Friday when a torrential downpour helped douse a fire.
The blaze was caused by the explosion of an electrical transformer, the head of the Volunteer Firefighters, Roque Gonzalez, told Efe.
While two firefighters experienced some ill effects from smoke inhalation, no one was killed or seriously injured.
Even with the rain, it took four fire companies to bring the blaze under control.
Esther Sanabria, whose shop was the first to burn, told Efe that her brother's establishment also suffered serious damage and called on the Asuncion municipal government to help the affected merchants.
She also urged city officials to invest in improving the market's electrical system.
"We are the commercial heart of the center and they don't invest a single guarani," Sanabria said. EFE