Guwahati, March 31: Fire fighters struggled till this morning to douse a fire in Maligaon that devastated at least five shops and damaged another eight.
At least 35 fire tenders were pressed into action to control the blaze which broke out around 11.45 last night. The flames intensified as two LPG cylinders exploded.
The cause of the fire has not been ascertained, but sources at the nearby Pandu fire station said they could not control the blaze right away because of explosion of the LPG cylinders. “Our probe so far suggests the fire started in a cycle store and later spread. Five shops were gutted and eight others damaged. We managed to douse the flames around 4am,” a source said.
The fire damaged a bookstore and a cloth shop amongst others. Some of the stores were over 20 years old. The affected shopkeepers said the damage was in crores. The police said they were yet to estimate the actual amount of damage.
The fire caused panic among residents. “We could not sleep the entire night as the fire could not be brought under control,” one of them said.
In another incident, six rooms of Holly Angel School in Bhetapara were gutted when a fire broke out around 12.30pm. Sources at Dispur fire station said the fire was caused by a leak from a LPG cylinder. The blaze was brought under control within an hour. No casualties were reported as classes were already over. “We received a call around 12.30pm from Anuj Deka and rushed to the spot. We managed to control the fire by 1.30pm,” a source said.