Around 150 shanties were gutted in a fire that broke out in a slum at Dum Dum Park on Saturday evening, killing one person.
Eight fire tenders were pressed into service in order to douse the flames. Fire fighters continued working till late night to extinguish the fire.
The exact reason that led to the fire is yet to be ascertained, but fire fighters came to know from local people that an explosion of a cooking gas cylinder was the cause of fire.
Javed Khan, the State Fire minister, said fire tenders were pressed into service soon after getting the information but they couldn't enter the slum area as the roads were narrow. The fire fighters were, however, trying their best to douse the flames as fast as possible.
According to the local people, the fire broke out due to explosion of a cooking gas cylinder. Four more cylinders exploded when the fire spread to adjacent shanties. No one was injured and everyone came out of their shanties soon after hearing the sound of explosion but they failed to bring valuables out of their houses.
Local people initiated the fire dousing work and were later joined by the fire fighters. The fire spread fast due to the presence of inflammable materials in the shanties.
Manoj Shaw, a local resident, said: "We found ourselves in a helpless state. The fire spread so fast that we failed to do the necessary in order to extinguish it.” He further added that some youth were fetching water from wells in the area while others took children and elderly people to a safe place.
Senior officers of the state fire and emergency services department were present at the spot and did the necessary to extinguish the fire.