SRINAGAR: Panic gripped the Gojwara area of old Srinagar when massive blaze broke out in two-storey Auqaf building on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday. The intensity of the blaze was so high that it continued for over three hours damaging first floor of the building consisting of five shops and one shop on the ground floor.
Eyewitnesses said that it was around 1 am when they saw flames coming out of a medical shop belonging to Abdul Hamid Beigh on the ground floor. They said they immediately contacted fire and emergency services department and their personnel arrived on the scene within a short span of time.
The locals hailed the efforts of the personnel of fire and emergency services department and appreciated the youth of the area who also played an important role in controlling the fire.
Even as police have begun investigation to find the cause of fire, the people are skeptical about it. Some eyewitness claimed that they noticed flames coming out of a half-shut shop and it was mysterious as to how the shutter was not closed past midnight.
Beigh told Kashmir Reader that the incident has cost him around Rs 25 lakh of medicines.
Gulzar Ahmad Shah, a cloth merchant from Ghulab Bagh claimed that fire engulfed one of his shops located on the first story. “Goods worth Rs 10 lakhs were burnt to ashes in that shop, and in the other shop located on the ground floor goods got damaged by water used to put off the fire,” he said.
Officials of the concerned police station said that fire occurred due to short circuit inside a medical shop. However they rejected the version of thieves having set the complex on fire. “These are all theories with no truth. It started from a medical shop and why would thieves come to rob it,” an official at the police station said.