The fire, which engulfed four shopping markets in south Mumbai and gutted 1,000-odd shops on Saturday, most likely started in a mobile phone and accessories shop outside the Sara-Sahara Complex because of a short circuit, the fire department’s probe team said on Sunday.
The team arrived at this conclusion after interrogating locals and eyewitnesses. “Prima facie, it seems to be a case of short circuit. As the wooden stall had computers within, the fire grew and spread rapidly into the Sara-Sahara compound behind it,” said a fire department official, requesting anonymity. “It’s too early to rule out sabotage, but evidence does not suggest so.”
Rumours of sabotage have been doing the rounds and led to serious tension in the area, prompting the police to deploy a large number of personnel in the area on Sunday.
Explaining how the fire spread to Manish Market, across the road, the official said: “Embers were flying out and were aided by the direction and speed of the wind.”