Fire breaks out in Darjeeling's iconic heritage hotel
Darjeeling: Fire broke out at the landmark Hotel Shangrila in Darjeeling on Thursday. Three fire engines battled the flames that was brought under control at around 2:30 pm. However, no casualties were reported.
The two-storeyed heritage building located on Nehru Road, at a stone's throw distance from the Mall, was earlier known as the Park and was owned by a Chinese family called Wong. Later in the 1970s, the ownership changed and it came to be known as Shangrila. It is owned by Ranjan Lama.
According to Jit Gazmer, a kitchen staff, the fire broke out at around 11:45 am from the kitchen. The fire started from the gas connection pipe and caught onto the grease and grime that had collected on it. The fire brigade was immediately called in.
"We received the call around noon and rushed to the spot. Three fire engines and 10 fire fighting personnel managed to control the fire. The cause of the fire can only be ascertained after thorough investigation," stated Bharat Chettri, a fire personnel.
Luckily, the four rooms of the hotel were empty as the tourists had checked out on Wednesday.
The restaurant was empty as it opens at around 1 pm.
A dog that was trapped in the fire was rescued by the fire brigade.
The interior of the hotel was mainly damaged along with the roof. "Post Independence, in the 1950s, the Park restaurant used to host live bands during weekends and also boasted a dance floor. It was very
popular among the youth. A part of the rich history of the town has been gutted," stated Sashi Gongba, a Darjeeling resident.