Major fire in Nandaram Market, none injured
Kolkata: A fire broke out at Nandaram Market on Saturday afternoon reminding the locals of the tragedy that struck the same building around 10 years ago. No injuries or casualties have been reported from the incident till reports last came in.
Unlike the previous incident, the extent of the damage in Saturday's fire has been much less as the fire officials checked the spread of the flames on a war footing. As there are no occupants in many of the shops of the ill-fated structure, it became easier for the fire-fighters to undertake the firefighting mechanism.
Some residents spotted smoke billowing out of the ninth floor of the building on Saturday afternoon and informed the fire brigade. They began the rescue operations before the fire tenders reached the spot.
As many as 15 fire tenders were pressed into action to douse the flames. The firemen climbed up the rooftop of an adjacent building and sprinkled water on the room that caught fire. They restricted it from spreading to other floors. The fire officers accompanied by the local residents conducted searches on various floors to ensure that no one was trapped. People who were inside the building rushed downstairs as soon as they came to know about the fire. The fire personnel brought the situation under control within a couple of hours but the cooling process continued till late Saturday evening. Police also restricted the traffic movement in the area following the incident.
Police and fire officials said a godown which stored various garments on the ninth floor caught fire. The exact cause and extent of the damage are yet to be ascertained. The Director General (DG) of the Fire and Emergency department Jagmohan who rushed to the spot after the incident said it was under control. Apparently, it appears that the fire fighting system of the building partially worked. He said that no injuries or casualties have been reported in the incident so far.
State Fire minister Sujit Bose also visited the spot and supervised the fire-fighting mechanism. He also spoke to the locals there. Bose told the reporters that the fire was completely brought under control and the cooling process was being undertaken. The fire officials are investigating if inflammable materials were stored inside the room where the fire broke out.
It may be mentioned here that a major fire broke out at Nandaram Market in January 2008 in which 4,000 shops were gutted.
The market remained closed for a couple of years after the incident and the operations begun in some parts of the building following the clearance from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in 2013.