Srinagar: Eight residential houses were gutted while as seven people received minor burn injuries in a fire that erupted on Friday morning in a congested locality of Ali-Kadal area of the old Srinagar.
The local residents of the area told Kashmir Reader that flames erupted from the three-storey house of Basher Ahmad Misger triggered by a gas-cylinder explosion at around 11:30 a.m and engulfed other houses within minutes.
Station House Officer of Mahraj Gunj Police Station told Kashmir Reader that out of the eight damaged house, three were burnt to ashes completely while other five others were damaged partially. “As per primary reports the case of the fire was due to gas leakage,” the officer said.
People who were present at the sight of the incident told Kashmir Reader that they contacted two fire and emergency station located in Nawab Bazaar and Baaripora areas of the old city within no time in order to restrict the fire from spreading, but being the congested locality the fire spread quickly before fire and emergency services men could reach the spot.
“Though fire and emergency services men reached the spot quickly but other houses had already caught the flames,” said Manzoor Ahmad, one of the labours who rushed the spot to douse the fire.
Ahmed said that locals helped fire and emergency services men to douse the fire. “All of us risked our lives and took out 18 gas-cylinders from one of the house that got damaged partially,” he said adding, “it could have been a much bigger tragedy if they would have caught fire.”
Mohmmad Sultan, a local resident said that Basher Ahmad Misger and his wife received minor burn injuries.
“A youth also felt unconscious due to suffocation during the process of dousing the fire,” he added.
Spokesman of fire and emergency department said that 20 fire tenders and six pumps were put into action to control the blaze that lasted for nearly two hours. “We pressed 20 fire tenders and six pumps into action to control the blaze and managed to avert a major tragedy as the area is densely populated and the lanes and by-lanes are narrow,” the official said. The official also claimed that four of their firemen sustain injuries while dousing the flames. All the injured were shifted to hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile Beopar Mandar of MR Gunj lashed out at government authorities for not setting up the fire station in the locality.
“Despite our repeated pleas to the concerned authorities to again establish the fire station MR Gunj which was existing nearly a decade a before,” trade body statement said.
The statement added that had the Government established fire station in MR Gunj, the damage could have been minimized.
Meanwhile, a school building was gutted in Uri on Friday morning.
Official sources said that fire broke out at Government High School (GHS) Salambad in Uri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday morning and damaged the building.
They said the F&ES, police and locals in a joint effort doused the fire and prevented it from spreading to other buildings.
Three rooms of the building which housed library computer room and record room were gutted in the incident.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, ZEO Uri Mohammad Syeed Khan said that fire broke out due to the negligence of PDD department. “Two live wires were passing over the school and sometimes they were touching with the roof of the building, I requested PDD officials several times to shift the electric wires far from school, but did not pay any heed to our request. On Friday morning both the lines touched the tin roof of building resulting in the fire incident,” ZEO said.
A Cowshed was also gutted in an incident in Khumina village of Hajin Bandipora here on Friday.
Reports said that fire broke out in the cowshed of Ghulam Mohammad Ganie a resident of Khumina village and resulted in complete damage to the cowshed.
Locals told Kashmir Reader that F&ES personnel in league with locals prevented the fire from spreading to the nearby residential house.
The cause of fire is being ascertained, an official said.
With inputs from Mushtaq Ahmed and Gowhar Maqbool