Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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Seven shops, ATM reduced to ashes in Lakkar BazaarThe fire reportedly broke out due to a short circuit at the roof of a chemist shop and spread to the adjoining shops

Seven shops, ATM reduced to ashes in Lakkar Bazaar

Property worth crores destroyed | Fire raged for nearly 8 hours21 Feb 2018 | 12:47 AM

SHIMLA:Seven shops and an ATM were gutted in a devastating fire that broke out in the congested Lakkar Bazaar area in the heart of Shimla town late last night, destroying property worth crores of rupees.

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Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 20

Seven shops and an ATM were gutted in a devastating fire that broke out in the congested Lakkar Bazaar area in the heart of Shimla town late last night, destroying property worth crores of rupees. However, no loss of life was reported.

The fire that reportedly started due to short circuit at the roof of a chemist shop spread to the adjoining shops as it was an old wooden building. Noticing smoke billowing out of the shop, the residents informed the fire station.

“We received a call at 12:18 am last night and were informed that a major fire broke out in Lakkar Bazaar near the RKMV College. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot immediately”, said Station Fire Officer, Mall Road, Dharam Chand Sharma, who himself sustained injury while dousing the fire.

Eight fire tenders and 30 men were rushed the spot. The fire-fighting operation continued for nearly eight hours and the fire was finally doused by 8:30 in the morning. Though the fire tenders reached the spot immediately, the fire-fighting operations could not be started due to some snags in fire hydrants, said a local shopkeeper.

The administration maintained that water pressure was low in the beginning as some residents had connected their domestic connections with the fire service dedicated line. A major tragedy was averted as the administration and fire brigade men removed six LPG cylinders from the adjoining dhaba. Deputy Commissioner Shimla Amit Kashyap, was the first to reach on spot and himself removed three LPG cylinders, said a bystander.

The shops swallowed by the flames included Shimla Fine Arts – one of the pioneer antique and wooden items shops in the market, Pragat Singh and Brothers, Capital Medical Store, Shami Video Mixing, Rana STD and another wooden items shop besides ATM of Canara Bank and Chamber of advocate H P Singh. Three adjoining shops – Sai Tara bakery, Rajpal Stationary and dental clinic were also destroyed.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur visited the spot along with Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj and Shimla SP Omapati Jamwal and met the affected shopkeepers. He said that the government would provide all possible assistance to them for fresh start to their business. The district administration has provided an immediate relief of Rs 10,000 to each fire victim.

Local Councilor Archna Dhawan has requested the residents to be careful with the electrical wires as most of the structure in the building was wooden. 

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