Bhubaneswar: Fire Services personnel finally doused the fire at the Puri market complex after 36 hours of struggle on Friday morning. In the meantime, 43 shops at the complex were reduced to ashes.
It may be noted that a massive fire broke out at Laxmi Market Complex in Puri Marichikot Chhak on Grand Road on Wednesday. Three fire brigades and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRF) personnel were engaged to douse the fire and rescue people. “More than 10 teams are engaged in rescue operations and are underway to douse the blaze,” Gokul Ranjan Das, IIC Town Police Station, Puri, said.
The narrow allies approaching the market complex had made the task of the Fire Services personnel difficult. As a result, it took longer to bring the fire under control, said Fire Brigade personnel Ramesh Chandra Majhi.
Acting swiftly, Fire Services and ODRF personnel rescued at least 300 people from the building which also housed a hotel and a bank. Fortunately, the guests at the hotel were out for dinner when the fire broke out.
However, three Fire Services personnel were injured during the operation and had to be hospitalised for treatment.
The fire originated on the first floor of the building and gradually fire spread to other shops at the shopping complex. It devoured two warehouses on the first floor and reduced property worth lakhs of rupees to ashes. Currently, the exact worth of the losses is being calculated.
While the exact reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that it might have been caused due to an electrical short circuit.
Meanwhile, the district administration has formed a committee to be led by the Puri sub-collector to look into the cause of the fire.
This was the biggest fire-fighting operation carried out in the history of Odisha, fire service DG, Santosh Upadhyay said.
“A very long, risky and difficult fire-fighting operation that lasted for more than 36 hours was carried out to douse the fire. We will provide cash rewards to the fire personnel engaged in the operation to encourage them,” he added.