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 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.
The blaze, which had engulfed a textile godown on the ninth floor, was extinguished after about five hours, he added. As many as 20 fire tenders were deployed to douse the flames.
According to the firemen, the blaze was likely due to a short-circuit. The firemen faced difficulties in controlling the blaze as huge quantities of inflammable articles were stored on the floor where it was raging on.
"The fire that started around 3 pm was extinguished at around 7.40 pm. There was 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 fought hard to bring the blaze under control," he told reporters and expressed unhappiness over the fire-fighting measures in the building. Some of those who owned shops on the other floors of the building were seen shifting their wares.
Police closed the arterial Brabourne Road, on which the building stood, to vehicular traffic, which was diverted through other roads. A major fire had broken 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.
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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