Shimla: A fire, spotted at about 12.15 a.m Tuesday, spread quickly, gutting down 7 shops in the Lakkar Bazaar market area of the city.
No casualties were reported. A team comprising 8-10 firemen and around 30 policemen brought the fire under control by 4 a.m, though it was completely extinguished only later in the morning.
The alleged cause of the fire is reported to be a short circuit in one of the stores. However, the Fire Services department, which will ascertain the exact cause of the flames, has not submitted its report yet.
An FIR has been filed at the Sadar Police Station by the owners of the stores.
“The estimated loss of property has not yet been determined,” said Amit Kashyap, deputy commissioner, Shimla, who was one of the first to reach the spot .
Four shops were completely burn’t down and one ATM suffered extensive damage. “Cash lying in the ATM is safe,” said Kashyap. A bakery suffered partial damaged.
“Since these structures were wooden and the shutters were down, the fire spread quickly and became difficult to control,” said Nirmal Singh Patial, a policeman who helped in extinguishing the blaze.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and education minister Suresh Bhardwaj visited on Tuesday morning and promised government assistance to the fire victims. The district administration released Rs. 10,000 as immediate relief to the victims whose property was destroyed in the inferno.
Shimla which has many old buildings built of stone and wood are prone to fire during winters. Last year a labour hostel was reduced to ashes.