Baramulla: At least 44 shops and many other commercial structures were gutted in a fire in main market Uri, Baramulla.
According to officials, fire broke out at around 2 am during Tuesday-Wednesday night in a bakery and engulfed its surrounding shops and stores.
Besides the shops, two hotels and a few private offices were completely damaged in the incident, they said.
Sub-district magistrate (SDM) Uri, Showqat Ahmad Rather, confirmed the damage caused by the fire. The administration was investigating the incident, he said.
The officials said the wooden structure and presence of kerosene and gas cylinders inside some shops helped the the fire spread fast.
They said the preliminary investigations suggested that the fire was noticed at three different locations within the buildings.
The estimated loss caused by the blaze is around Rs 40 lakh.
A police spokesman said a private vehicle was also partially damaged in the blaze.
Local residents, however, claimed that fire could have been controlled faster, if the fire station had more fire tenders.
“There is only one fire tender at the Uri fire station. We appealed the government several times to augment the fire-fighting infrastructure, but in vain,” Zaffar Nabi, a local, said.
—With PTI inputs