Hatibagan market fire

A fire broke out at two apparel shops in Hatibagan market around 7.45pm on Thursday, a day when the market remains shut.

By A staff reporter
  • Published 14.08.15
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A fire broke out at two apparel shops in Hatibagan market around 7.45pm on Thursday, a day when the market remains shut.

As a result, firemen had to break down two collapsible gates to reach the site of fire.

The blaze at the two corner shops in the century-old market beside the area where vegetables are sold was doused within 30 minutes.

Most of the items stored in the shops were gutted in the blaze.

A fire officer said the fire was probably caused by a short circuit.

The owner of an adjacent apparel shop said he had noticed the fire around 7.45pm while coming out of his shop on the first floor of the market after storing some garments for the "mega sale" on Friday and Saturday.

Traders and their employees tried to douse the fire by throwing buckets of water before calling the fire brigade.

Eight fire tenders arrived by 7.55pm and started spraying water. Six more joined within minutes.

Since the fire was spotted early and the fire brigade reached on time, a major disaster was averted, a trader said.

"The entire market was closed. If the flames had not been spotted, the entire market could have been gutted," said Ranjan Roy, the secretary of the market committee.

A Calcutta Municipal Corporation official said the market has at least 80 fire extinguishers and 10 had been used before the fire brigade arrived.

"Since all the shops are close to each other, our first target was to prevent the fire from spreading," a fire officer said.

"Once we were able to do that, we managed to douse the flames," he said.

The firemen cut off power supply to the entire market and sprayed water into shops beside the ones that caught fire.

Mayor Sovan Chatterjee visited the market after the fire had been doused.

The market would remain open on Friday, a civic official said.

On March 22, 2012, the market had almost been gutted in a fire that raged for more than seven hours.

More than 30 fire engines had been used to douse the flames.

The market houses more than 1,500 shops in two buildings.