Blame game: Four shops gutted in I-10 market

Police station’s SHO Asjad Mehmood confirmed the damage but added that short-circuiting was behind the fire.


Our Correspondent July 16, 2014

ISLAMABAD:


A fire broke out in Sector I-10 Markaz early Tuesday morning, gutting four shops and partially damaged several more.


According to Kashif Chaudhry, a bakery owner, the fire broke out at his shop around 4am. Chaudhry said since he was in Lahore at the time, other shopkeepers of the market informed the nearby fire station after being woken up by the blaze.

The fire also engulfed nearby shops within a few minutes, he said. Accusing the fire brigade officials of criminal laxity, he said rescue officials refused to show up on their own, forcing shopkeepers to reach their station themselves. “They were unwilling to come and when they did reach the site the pipe on their vehicle was broken and water was leaking from the tank,” he said.

Besides, the fire brigade’s main office was asked for help and they reached the spot after 40 minutes and till then four shops had completely burnt down, he remarked.

The other shops that were gutted were stationery and fast food stores. Chaudhry added that the fire broke out when a routine power outage was under way so there is point of it being caused by short-circuiting. He suspected that the fire was caused by a chemical of some sort. “Even the granite on the reception desk melted beyond recognition,” he added.

When contacted, the local police station’s SHO Asjad Mehmood confirmed the damage but added that short-circuiting was behind the fire. “The security guard of the building informed us and we further sought help of the fire brigade which doused the fire,” he remarked.

Chaudhry claimed the damage of just his shop amounts to Rs 10.5 million and only timely action from the fire brigade could have saved his life’s work.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2014.

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