At least 14 shops were burnt to the ground, while two blocks of Army Burn Hall College were also damaged in a fire in Abbottabad on Friday afternoon.
According to Cantonment police, the fire broke out following a short-circuit in a shop selling mattresses in Gami Adda. Soon thereafter, the fire engulfed 14 shops, including a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder shop.
It then spread to the adjoining building of the school .
Fire engines were called to the site but due to a power outage the tankers could not be filled with water causing millions in losses to the traders.
A fire erupted in Kaghan due to a short-circuit and engulfed eight shops and three houses. Police has estimated a loss of Rs50 million. Kaghan SHO Sadaqat Nisar Khan said a fire broke out in the early hours of the morning in a triple storey house. Those affected, however, have asked for an inquiry into the incident, claiming it was an act of terror.
A shop owner, Khaqan, said he informed the fire department as soon as the fire erupted but when the brigade reached from Balakot, it was out of order. Another one was sent after half an hour, but by that time all the shops were burnt down. According to a witness, the fire was extinguished after four hours.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2014.