Property worth crores of rupees, including 22 cars, were gutted in a fire in the basement at the Kosmo Hyundai car showroom, Paragpur, on the Jalandhar-Ludhiana national highway on Wednesday. Prima facie, short circuit seemed to have caused the fire, the police said.
The blaze was noticed at around 9 am on Wednesday. Owner Praveen Ahuja immediately informed the fire brigade, which brought the fire under control, with the help of the army in over eight hours. Fire tenders had to be summoned from Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Phagwara, sources added.
“On receiving information, I reached reached my showroom at around 9:15 am and found smoke rising from the basement. My staff tried to control the fire, but it continued to spread as the basement stored inflammable material like rubber and other petroleum products and new cars,” Ahuja said.
DCP Jaspreet Singh Sidhu, ADCP Naresh Dogra, MC Vinay Bublani and mayor Sunil Jyoti also reached the spot.
Even as more than 40 fire tenders were put on duty, they were unable to douse the flames even till 12 pm. It was then that the administration decided to call in the army. The army deployed eight fire tenders and other special equipment to control the fire.
Roof and walls of the building had to be drilled open to make way for water cannons to douse the flames, sources said.
When contacted, ADCP Naresh Dogra said that it took eight hours to control the fire, which seemd to have been caused by a shirt circuit in the basement of the building.
“The exact cause of the fire will be known only after a detailed investigation,” the ADCP said.