A blaze swept through a warehouse in Bhagirath Place, the sprawling electronics and medical supplies market in north Delhi, on Thursday evening, Delhi Fire Services (DFS) officials said.
The fire, which erupted around 5pm and was triggered apparently by a short circuit, gutted goods estimated to be worth lakhs of rupees. No causality was reported.
“Around 25 shops and godowns, which store goods and supplies, are located in the building where the fire broke out,” said BK Jindal, an office-bearer of the local market association. “Fortunately, there were no casualties or injuries. However, it’s too early to estimate the losses caused.”
Bhagirath Palace, purportedly the largest market in India of its type, gets its name from its earlier avatar of a fabulous haveli associated with royalty. The Begum Samru Ki Haveli with imposing yet dilapidated façade houses State Bank of India’s main branch in old Delhi.
It was a narrow, snaking lane in the area that turned into the scene of a dramatic fire-fighting effort which began soon after fire department officials were alerted around 5.10pm.
“Only three fire tenders were able to enter the lane. Two of them were able to make their way to the affected building. The rest had to be parked on the main Dariba Road and pipes had to be extended along the lane over a distance of around 200 metres to supply water,” a DFS official.
Fire fighters later expressed concern that the building housing the affected warehouse could collapse, it being an old structure.
The electrical supply feeding the entire lane up till the warehouse was cut almost immediately. A blackout in the area continued for several hours as the DFS engaged in a post-fire fighting operation.
DFS director AK Sharma refused to speculate on the cause of fire. Rescue workers, however, said they suspected short circuit to be the cause of the blaze.
The rescue workers, including police, residents and persons drawn from Civil Defence, evacuated and barricaded the area to ensure smooth operations of fire brigade.
“The godown was constructed in an area of 200 square yards. Inflammable plastic and PVC material stored in it fed the fire,” the official added.
Taj Hassan, joint commissioner of police (Central), said the fire was brought under control within 30 minutes and there was “no cause for worry”.