In yet another incident, around 17 shops and a panchayat office were gutted in a fire that broke out on Thursday night at Kotgarh, nearly 90 km from Shimla.
Locals said that the fire broke out around 9 pm and they rushed to the spot to douse the inferno and simultaneously informed the fire station at Rampur, nearly 45 km from Kotgarh. Revenue officials said loss of over Rs 70 lakh had been assessed, while the cause of fire could not be ascertained yet. However, no loss of life was reported.
Fire station officials from Rampur confirmed that the locals had informed about fire at 9:20 pm and two fire tenders were rushed to Kotgarh, while one was pressed into action from Theog fire station, 60 km from Kotgarh.
Kotgarh panchayat pradhan Navita Bhaik said the building was owned by Kotgarh panchayat and housed more than 20 shops, including stores, office of cooperative society. “There were cartons in the stores that added fuel to the fire,” Bhaik told the Hindustan Times, adding that there were around 10 LPG cylinders, secured by the locals on time.
Rampur sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Dileep Negi, who reached the spot at 10 pm, said, “Locals and fire officials played a vital role in saving the remaining shops.”
Meanwhile, the locals have demanded a fire station in Kotgarh or at nearest place Kumarsain.