The fire started in the afternoon in the third floor storage area of the Big Apple store next to Panama La Flor Bakery.
Over 100 firemen aided by rescue workers and police fought to bring the fire under control.By early afternoon they were joined by units from the Canal Authority.
Some local businesses were evacuated and the area cordoned off in case the flames spread. The fire was spotted soon after noon and was still being fought late evening.
Rodrigo Baruco, deputy director of the Panama Fire Department, said that the firefighters were facing some difficulties because of the variety of objects in the storage area like plastics, toys, clothing, and others. These materials are not in harmony with each other, he said.
He, also reported that he has asked the water authority to increase water pressure in the area.
With traffic diverted, many local merchants closed their stores.