Over 100 shops were burnt down to ashes in a massive fire that broke out in the Salt Lake market in Kolkata early on Thursday, 12th January. The blaze broke out around 5 am, in the wee hours hence no losses of life or limb were reported. Since most of these shops were constructed by inflammable items like bamboos and plastics, they caught fire very quickly. The early morning wind helped the fire to spread more quickly.
However, as the entire cluster of roadside shops were totally gutted, the estimated damage is likely to cross several lakhs of rupees. It took six hours of rigorous fire-fighting by 12 fire tenders to douse the flames. The fire that broke out in the FD-Block, was ultimately brought under control at around 11 a.m.
Deboprosad Purkait, the owner of the flower-storehouse, where the fire was supposed to have originated, said he learnt about the fire early in the morning. "The storehouse had a stock of items worth around Rs 8,00,000. Everything has been destroyed," he told newspersons.
According to locals, the fire which originated from a flower-storehouse quickly spread to the other roadside shops in the immediate periphery. Initially, the locals started the task of fire-fighting and in that process one person, Bholanath Paik, an employee with the garbage department of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, received minor injuries. However, soon the fire-tenders arrived.
State fire services minister Sujit Basu also reached the spot soon after. "The fire is totally under control now," he said. The fire officers present at the spot said that prima facie, a short-circuit appears to be the trigger for the fire.