Shops , houses gutted in Himachal fire

Shimla : A devastating fire gutted 16 buildings, comprising mainly shops, in Himachal Pradesh’s heritage town of Chamba early Sunday, an official said. However, there was no loss of life.

“Ten shops and six houses in Charpet Mohalla, opposite Chowgan Bazaar, were completely destroyed in the fire,” Deputy Commissioner Sharab Negi said . Most structures in the town, some 450 km from here, were wooden.

The fire was noticed at around 3.30 a.m. and it took more than five hours to control it.

Fire engines from Dharamsala and Pathankot in Punjab were summoned to control the fire, Negi said.

The affected families were provided temporary shelter and necessary household items. A short circuit may have caused the fire, he said.

The government has ordered a magisterial inquiry to ascertain the cause of fire.

Vidhan Sabha Speaker Tulsi Ram visited the spot and inspected the rehabilitation work.

Chamba town is over 1,000 years old and is situated on the right bank of the Ravi river.

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