For Fareed Batatawala, 45, whose shop in Manish Market was reduced to ashes on Saturday morning's fire, a question that looms large is: how could the fire spread across more than 30 feet, to reach his shop?
"How could it jump between two buildings, more than 30 feet apart, without touching the stalls and plastic goods kept between?" asked Batatawala, who owned a mobile phone shop in Manish Market.
"We suspect that it is sabotage, and not an accidental fire. Somebody had planned it in advance, and we suspect that an insider could have been involved. The ground floor where all the shops are located was completely gutted, while the first floor is partially damaged. We have incurred losses to the tune of more than Rs50 crore," he added.
Batatawala, said that the loss could have been curtailed, had the fire brigade douses the fire sooner. He said that the fire tenders had reached the spot on time, but struggled to enter the market, even though they had their fire-fighting gear and all required equipment.
"For more than two hours, the brigade was only spraying water on the outer walls of the building and feared to venture inside," he said.