Seven shops were gutted at Gazole market in Malda district late Sunday night, after a fire broke out at a local grocery shop which later spread across the market within 15 minutes.
One fire tender was pressed into action, but it could not do much as the intensity of the fire was heavy. The other fire tenders could not reach the place on time, as they had to come from Malda town, which is considerably far away from Gazole.
The midnight blaze at the shops in Gazol market has inflicted a loss of materials worth lakh rupees. The fire was caused due to an electric short-circuit in the grocery shop belonging to one Md Irfan, said a district police officer.
The local MLA Dipali Biswas reached the spot to oversee the operation, but could not expedite the fire brigade’s work due to the fire tenders’ lack of time and resources.
“The fire brigade reached the spot late. It was coming from Malda town. Some more shops could have been rescued if the fire brigade had reached on time,” said Biswas.
“The fire brigade station is located at Malda town. The villagers could be in grave danger if a big fire incident happens here,” the MLA said.
Meanwhile, local traders demonstrated in front of the MLA on Monday, demanding setting up of a fire station in the village immediately. The MLA promised them to take the matter in the state Assembly.
“No lives were lost, but property was destroyed. We have demanded compensation to the MLA. We will go to the district magistrate as well. We will block the road if the district administration wil not hear us,” some shop owners threatened.