Police and firemen work to douse the fire at the shopping complex on Boring Road in Patna on Saturday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey
Patna, March 15: At least 12 fire tenders took around three hours to douse the flames at a shopping complex here today.
However, no casualty was reported.
The fire, which had started at 11.15am at the three-storeyed Pushpanjali Place in the Boring Road area, gutted three shops with an estimated loss of several crores. Apart from shops, the complex also houses a coaching centre and residential flats.
An officer at the SK Puri police station said: “We rushed to the spot immediately after receiving information. The fire tenders could reach the spot quickly as the complex is located on the main road. However, the blaze spread quickly and it took at least a dozen fire tenders to control the flames. No casualty or injury has been reported. Since the complex had just opened for business in the morning, there were not many people around. Most of the shops were also closed.”
Sources said the fire started from a garment brand showroom on the ground floor from where it spread to two more shops.
“Though it is too early to say anything, a short circuit seems to be the cause of the fire. Both the garment shops had opened around half-an-hour before the fire started. Those residing in the flats on the top floor sensed the fire from the smoke and immediately rushed outside the building from the rear staircase. The fire also spread to a coaching centre on the first floor. Though many fire tenders reached the spot by then, the blaze could only be brought under control by 2pm,” another police officer said. The incident led to a traffic snarl on Boring Road.
Pradip Kejriwal, the owner of one of the garment shops that was gutted, said: “Around half-an-hour after we had opened the store, we saw smoke billowing from the ceiling. The flames were spreading rapidly. We immediately called the police and the fire services. We have incurred a loss of lakhs and our Holi has been spoiled.”
“The firemen saved many lives. Some of them moved to the first floor taking help of the ladders and doused the flames. There was dense smoke and the window panes had to be broken to avoid a major accident,” a senior fire services officer said.
The residents of the flats on the top floor were happy as the flames did not spread to their homes.
“I looked out of the window and spotted the fire after smoke started to come into our flat. There are four flats on the top floor and an alert was sounded after which we all took the rear stairs. The fire did not engulf the flats,” said one of the residents.