A major fire broke out at Nandaram Market in the Burrabazar area here on Saturday, bringing back memories of the inferno in the same building in 2008. No casualty was reported so far as shopowners and customers were evacuated from the 13-storey building, which housed one of the biggest wholesale markets in the country, a senior official of the fire services department said.
As many as 20 fire tenders were pressed into service to control the blaze that had engulfed a textile godown on the ninth floor, he added. "The fire started around 3 pm. There is no casualty and none is trapped inside," the official said.
West Bengal Fire Services Minister Sujit Bose rushed to the area soon after the blaze broke out and reviewed the fire-fighting operation. "Armed with masks and other gear, the firemen are fighting hard to bring the blaze under control," he told reporters, while expressing unhappiness over the fire-fighting measures in the building.
Some who owned shops on the other floors were seen shifting their wares from the building. A major fire broke out at Nandaram Market in January 2008, which was brought under "complete control" after about 90 hours. The Army had to be called in and over 3,000 shops were gutted.
According to the firemen, Saturday's fire was likely due to a short-circuit. "The blaze is continuing even after three hours. Smoke is billowing out of the building and has covered the entire commercial area," fire service officials said.
The firemen were facing difficulties in controlling the blaze as huge quantities of inflammable articles were stored on the floor where the fire was raging on, they added. Police have closed the arterial Brabourne Road, on which the building stands, to vehicular traffic, which is being diverted through other roads.
Bagri Market on Canning Street in the vicinity had caught fire that raged on for over three days in September last year.
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